TEXT: Philippians 4:1-7
1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
— PRAYER —
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 317 messages in this series.
This is message #318 titled, Don’t Worry, Pray, and be Happy! Part 5.
David Steindl-Rast said, “It is not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”
How can we stop worrying and be happy? And, not just happy, but joyful? That is the question we are addressing in this series. So far we have learned that, through Christ, it is indeed possible to rejoice despite the circumstances and the anxiety that threatens our daily life. And, Paul tells us three specific things that we can do to ensure tht we can “rejoice in the Lord.”
First, we ought to pray. That is what Paul did when he was in prison. He prayed and cast all of his burdens on the Lord. Second, we should engage in supplication — the earnest sharing of our needs and deepest feelings with God. This means that sometimes our prayers will not be pretty; we may feel apprehensive about verbalizing what is truly in our heart. But censoring ourselves doesn’t work with God because he already knows our hearts. Recently, singer Carrie Underwood opened up about how she got real with God after suffering three miscarriages. She told CBS Sunday Morning that she asked the Lord, ‘Why do I keep getting pregnant if I can’t have a kid? What is this? Shut the door. Do something. Either shut the door or let me have a kid.’ She said, “For the first time, I feel like I actually told God how I felt. I feel like we’re supposed to do that.” She’s right. Get real With God as long as you do it respectfully
We are supposed to do that. And doing that is essential to our joy. Remember: God is the one Person you can always be honest with because he already knows.
But there is one other thing we ought to do in order to “rejoice in the Lord always.” And, that is: give thanks. Paul writes, “In every thing by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known unto God.” While you are asking for things and sharing your needs, be sure to remember and thank God for all that He has done for you and all that He is doing for you. Gratitude begets joy.
William Arthur Ward said, “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” When we remember to pray with thanksgiving, we remind, not God, but ourselves of all that we have to be thankful for. This is essential to being joyful despite whatever negative circumstances we may be facing at the time. Yet, it is easy for us to forget to say, “Thank you, Lord.” Just as you likely have a prayer list, it is a good idea to make a praise list and write down all of the things that you have to thank God for.
If you struggle with remembering things to thank God for, this hymn by Percival Chubb might help:
We lift our hearts in thanks today
For all the gifts of life;
And first, for peace that turns away
The enemies of strife;
And next, the beauty of the earth,
Its flowers and lovely things,
The spring’s great miracle of birth,
With sound of songs and wings;
Then, harvests of its teeming soil
In orchard, croft and field;
But more, the service and the toil
Of those who helped them yield;
And most, the gifts of hope and love,
Of wisdom, truth and right,
The gifts that shine like stars above
To chart the world by night.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.