Welcome again to the podcast on this vacation week. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving for us right here in the US and in Canada. We prefer to take these moments to take up the theme of thanksgiving within the apostle Paul’s letters, which is a significant theme for him. Last Thanksgiving, I discussed that the apostle Paul mentions “thanks” about fifty occasions in his epistles. This results in considered one of my favourite quotes, a declare by New Testomony scholar David Pao, who as soon as wrote (quoting Paul Schubert), “The apostle Paul mentions the topic of thanksgiving extra continuously per web page than some other Hellenistic writer, pagan or Christian” (Thanksgiving, 15).
Thanksgiving was at all times on Paul’s lips. And it was on his lips when he was speaking about prayer and anxiousness. In Philippians 4:6, Paul writes this: “Don’t be troubled about something, however in all the things by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made recognized to God.” Pray your well past anxiousness. And pray your means into thanksgiving. Right here’s Pastor John to explain.
Let’s go to Philippians 4:6–7. It’s very well-known, very valuable, and extra embedded within the huge image of this letter than you’ll have thought. I need to draw out how Philippians 4:6–7 pertains to the massive issues Paul is making an attempt to do on this letter.
So now, lastly, for the primary time, he exhorts them to hope. I feel that’s been implicit to date, however now it’s express. “Don’t be troubled about something, however in all the things . . .” (Philippians 4:6). That’s a giant phrase. Do you pray about all the things? All the things? When Paul says, “Pray with out ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), that in all probability is related to “pray about all the things.” Do you stroll in a spirit of communion with God that — typically consciously, typically much less so — is continually providing up thanks, however particularly sending up want? “I need assistance on this dialog. I can barely perceive that individual’s accent, and my listening to is dangerous. I need assistance proper now on the dining-room desk.” Do you reside like that?
Don’t be troubled about something, however in all the things by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made recognized to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)
Broad and Slender Prayer
In a single sense, this command to hope is all-encompassing due to the phrases in all the things. “Don’t be troubled about something, however in all the things” pray. Do you see the connection there? Don’t be troubled in something as a result of in all the things you’re praying for what you want within the anxious second, and also you’re trusting God due to his promise to be there and assist — and so, anxiousness lifts. That’s the way in which prayer is meant to work to remove anxiousness.
In one other sense, it’s not broad and all-encompassing. It’s very slim and really targeted as a result of as an alternative of claiming the hundred issues that God does in reply to prayer, he merely focuses on two issues, that are actually two sides of the identical coin. “Don’t be troubled” is one results of prayer. “Don’t be troubled about something, however in all the things by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made recognized to God” (Philippians 4:6). So the very first thing that occurs whenever you pray about all the things is that anxiousness is lifted. “Forged all of your anxieties on me as a result of I look after you.” That’s Peter’s means of claiming it (1 Peter 5:7).
“Negatively, intention by prayer to be finished with anxiousness. And positively, intention by prayer to take pleasure in fixed peace.”
And the second factor is that the “peace of God” — which is the alternative of hysteria, proper? — that passes all understanding is available in and takes over and protects, guards, your hearts and minds. So negatively, intention by prayer to be finished with anxiousness. And positively, intention by prayer, in all the things, to take pleasure in fixed peace.
Stroll by way of the world of bother — ministry troubles, household troubles, European troubles, refugee troubles, political troubles, monetary troubles — within the safety of the peace of God that can not be accounted for by human purpose. It can not. It goes past, it surpasses what human reasoning can do. When Paul is saying, “Take pleasure in peace by way of prayer,” if any person says, “Yeah, however how may you could have peace when that’s occurring?” properly, that phrase how has no reply humanly. That’s why it says, “past human understanding.” Human understanding will be unable to provide you with a solution to the way you take pleasure in peace on this circumstance. It’s suprarational. Reasoning doesn’t make the peace occur; God makes the peace occur, and he does it in reply to prayer. It’s a beautiful expertise.
Key to Philippians
Now let’s ask this: How do these two halves of verse 6 and seven — do away with anxiousness by prayer; take pleasure in peace with God by prayer — how do these two outcomes of praying in all the things relate to the massive image of Philippians, which we’ve been seeing?
“Residing or dying, make Christ look nice. That’s the rationale you’re on the planet.”
The primary day, I argued from Philippians 1:20–21: “My keen expectation and hope [is] that I’d under no circumstances be ashamed, however that with full braveness now as at all times Christ can be honored in my physique, whether or not by life or by loss of life. For to me to stay as Christ, and to die is acquire.” That’s the massive purpose of this letter: Christ magnified in your bodily existence. Residing or dying, make him look nice. That’s the rationale you’re on the planet. That’s the rationale your loved ones exists, your ministry exists. Make Christ look magnificent as a result of that’s what he’s. That’s what this huge image is in Philippians.
And we noticed that Paul will get very particular. One other means of describing “make Christ look nice” is “lead lives worthy of the gospel.” That’s Philippians 1:27–28. Dwell a life that’s fearless earlier than the adversary and united, arm in arm, in love with different believers. Unity in love and fearlessness, he says, develop into an indication to the world of “their destruction” and of “your salvation” (Philippians 1:28).
In different phrases, when you’re fearless earlier than your adversary, and you might be full of affection, pushed by humility, counting others extra important than your self, placing others’ pursuits earlier than your individual — when that’s the supply of the loving unity and the fearlessness, it’s an indication. It’s an indication to the world that Christ is all-satisfying to those individuals. Christ will meet each want that they’ve. Christ is all they want. “I need to learn about this as a result of I don’t get it.” That’s the massive image.
How does that relate to the praying of Philippians 4:6? The reply is that “don’t be troubled about something” is the fearlessness of Philippians 1:27–28. The fearlessness earlier than the adversary in Philippians 1:28 is one other phrase for “don’t be troubled.” Whenever you stand earlier than the authorities within the college or the authorities within the capitol, whenever you stand earlier than individuals who don’t like your place on this or that, don’t be afraid. Or to make use of the phrases of Philippians 4:6, “Don’t be troubled about something, however in all the things, let him know what you want.” All of which fits to say, prayer is the important thing to this e book.