Everything By Prayer

Bible Book: Philippians  4 : 6-7
Subject: Prayer
INTRODUCTION:

Psalms 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

“Cease from striving, let it go and relax; turn down the volume of the world and listen to the quite whisper of God.” Intimacy is soaking in His presence.

Prov 3:32, “But His secret counsel is with the upright”

Paul’s desire in Phil 3:10, “That I may know Him.” Literally an experiential knowledge of God; not knowing about God. In just 16 verses later, Paul assures them of the difference God’s presence makes and gives a brief description of prayer.

I. HIS PRESENCE. 5b-6a

“The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing.”

The emphasis here is on the Lord’s nearness in the sense of His presence.

A. GOD’S PRESENCE

Psalms 119:151, “You are near, O Lord,

And all Your commandments are truth.”

James 4:8a, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

“at hand” – near;

Psalms 34:15, “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.”

Psalms 34:17-18

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,

And delivers them out of all their troubles.

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,

And saves such as have a contrite spirit.”

BENEFITS:

1. STABILITY.

In the midst of life’s storms, a solid relationship with God is your anchor.

2. SECURITY.

You can have the assurance that He’s always with you, ready to help in any situation or circumstance.

3. SERENITY.

Intimacy gives you quietness and peace in your spirit, no matter what happens. You can trust that the Lord will guide you through difficulty.

4. SENSITIVITY.

God will give you greater spiritual understanding and increased awareness to the needs of others.

G. Campbell Morgan, “The supreme need in every hour of difficulty and distress is for a fresh vision of God. Seeing Him, all else takes on proper perspective and proportion.”

BARRIERS:

1. PRIDE

The gentleness of v.5 is big-heartedness; it is the opposite of an “inflexible attitude.”

2. REBELLION.

When we deliberately disobey the Lord, we cannot have intimacy with Him.

3. HURRY.

Some people never find intimacy with God because they are always impatient.

“Take time to be holy.”

B. GOD’S PETITION.

“Be anxious for nothing” – word means to divide the mind; His nearness brings stability, yet our worry brings unstableness.

James 1:8, “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” Verse 7, “Like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” As you pray, you throw out the anchor.

Anxious (worry) – old English word is strangle.

“Worry is carrying tomorrow’s loads with today’s strength.”

Proverbs 12:25, “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.”

“But” v.6

II. HIS PRAYER. 6-7

“IN EVERYTHING BY PRAYER”

Prayer does not always change the situation and make it better, but prayer always changes us and makes us better.

A. PRAYER’S DESCRIPTION. 6

“Prayer” – word carries the idea of adoration, devotion, and worship; reminds me of intimacy.

1. I adore Him because I am coming to know Him

better by spending quality time in His presence.

2. The better I get to know Him, the more I love Him.

3. The more I love Him, the more I trust Him.

4. The more I trust Him, the more I obey Him.

FACT: Trouble, trials, disappointments, heartaches, etc., draw us to God in prayer.

Why?

“The simple way to gain victory over these and all other issues (sin) is simply to spend time with God. Nothing sets apart from the world more than daily, loving communication with God and nothing is more holy than obedience as an expression of love and trust. This kind of obedience is the manifestation of practical holiness.” Clyde Crawford

“If anyone should ask me for an epitome of the Christian religion, I should say, it is the one word ‘prayer.’ If I should be asked, ‘What will take in the whole of Christian experience?’ I should answer, ‘prayer.’ A man must be convinced of sin before he could pray, he must have had some hope that there was mercy for him before he could pray. All the Christian virtues are locked up in that word, prayer. In troublous times our best communion with God will be carried by supplication. Tell Him thy case; search out His promise, and then plead it with holy boldness. This is the best, the surest, the speediest way of relief.” Charles Spurgeon

The word prayer denotes the petitioner’s attitude of mind as worshipful. The word has to do with approaching God and gives the sense of worship and reverence. The word here does not speak of the words we pray but the spirit with which we pray. Prayer never begins with words. It begins with the heart, with a humble attitude toward God.

In Luke 18:1, Jesus said, “Man ought always to pray and not lose heart.”

In 1 Thess 5:17, Paul said, “Pray without ceasing.”

“Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything.”

1. SUPPLICATION.

An earnest sharing of our needs and problems (burdens). Means entreaty and pictures the petitioner as a subject who comes humbly to his Master with a need that must be met. Literally means, “to want.” It is a petition for necessities, for you or someone the Lord has burdened you for. Word describes the sharing of problems and needs with God.

Vance Havner, “Prayer may not get us what we want, but it will teach us to want what we need.”

Prayer has the ability to bring together the family of God to a common ground of fellowship with others in prayer.

John Peterson’s Hymn:

There is a place where spirits blend,

Where friend holds fellowship with friend:

Tho’ sundered far, by faith they meet

Around one common mercy seat.

EXAMPLE: Howard’s in Indonesia

Ott’s in Africa

Read from Dottie’s Letter

2. INTERCESSION.

“requests” – stands for particular items on your prayer list.

2. APPRECIATION.

“with thanksgiving” - all prayer is to be accompanied with thanksgiving.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18, “pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

This demonstrates that the prayer is being offered from a submissive heart. An attitude of gratitude.

It makes my heart grateful to realize that God is concerned about everything that concerns us.

Certainly the Father enjoys hearing His children say, “Thank You!”

ILLUSTRATE: Luke 17:11-19 –

10 Lepers Healed

ORIGINAL, ULTIMATE SPIRIT OF ENTITLEMENT

Luke 17:15-19, “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ And He said to him, ‘Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.’"

“Pray? Why Pray? What can praying do?

Praying really changes things, arranges life anew.

It’s good for your digestion, gives peaceful sleep at night,

And fills the grayest, gloomiest days with rays of glowing light.

It puts a smile upon your face, and a love note in your tone,

Makes you fit to live with others, and fit to live alone.

Pray? Why Pray? What can praying do?

It brings God down from heaven, to live and work in you.”

B. PRAYER’S DELIVERY. 7

Verse 6, “Let your requests be made known to God”

Matthew 6:8, "Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”

FACT: It pleases Him for us to seek and to ask for what we need, because by asking, we are confessing our dependence on Him. It communicates dependence and submission. Also by coming to Him we keep the communication lines open; remember, this is the real reason we pray, that we might know God and therefore He is glorified.

1. IT DELIVERS PEACE.

a. Peace with God

Rom 5:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”

This is Jan. 7, 1973, my salvation, peace with

God

b. Peace of God.

This takes us a step further into His presence. It does not mean the absence of trials on the outside, but it does mean a quite confidence within, regardless of circumstances, people, or things.

“surpasses all understanding”

Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

Human mind cannot get is arms around it; cannot grasp or fathom or comprehend the greatness and fullness and the glory of the peace which God gives.

INCOMPREHENSIBLE!

EXAMPLE: Daniel can testify that he had rather be in the Lion’s Den with God’s peace than in the Palace without God’s peace.

NOTE: Daniel 6:10-11, 18

2. IT DELIVERS PROTECTION.

“will guard your hearts and minds” – speaks of the Lord providing security. The word used here is garrison. The Lord has stationed the “peace of God” at the heart and mind of the praying saint.

Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace,

Whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

This “peace-guard” keeps anxiety away from us. This peace acts as a heavenly guard challenging the approach of anything that would disturb his heart.

ILLUSTRATION: Deanna’s request for prayer on her flight to the West Coast. Her only worry was “no worry.”

“Years ago, in the pioneer days of aviation, a pilot was making a flight around the world. After he was two hours out of his last landing field, he heard a noise in his plane, which he recognized as the gnawing of a rat. He realized that while his plane had been on the ground a rat had gotten in. For all he knew the rat could be gnawing through a vital cable or control of the plane.

It was a very serious situation. He was both concerned and anxious. At first he did not know what to do. It was two hours back to the landing field from which he had taken off and more than two hours to the next field ahead. Then he remembered that the rat is a rodent. It is not made for heights; it is made to live on the ground and under the ground. Therefore the pilot began to climb. He went up a thousand feet, then another thousand and another until he was more than twenty thousand feet up.

The gnawing ceased. The rat was dead. He could not survive in the atmosphere of those heights. More than two hours later the pilot brought the plane safely to the next landing field and found the dead rat.

Worry is a rodent. It cannot live in the secret place of the Most High. It cannot breathe in the atmosphere made vital through prayer and familiarity with the Scripture. Worry dies when we ascent to the Lord through prayer and His word.”