Summary: To beat anxiety, Paul gives us three things that we must do. Prayer is only the first.
I. Intro: Paul Knew Anxiety
Acts 28: House arrest in Rome. But look what he went through to get there.
Acts 21:27 -32 Paul arrives in Jerusalem the whole city erupts in violence.
Acts22: 22 ff Speaks to the crowds at the end they shout “Rid the earth of him, he’s not fit to live.”
Later a Roman centurion prepares to flog him, just for causing a ruckus. Only when Paul tells him of his citizenship is he spared.
Acts 23 Preaches to the Sanhedrein resulting in
“The next morning the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. More than 40 men were involved in this plot” Acts 23:12-13
The Roman guards had to whisk him away through the night to Caesarea to save his life.
Acts 24: Stands trial before Felix Stays under arrest for 2 years.
Acts 25: Tried before Festus=====> Then King Aggrippa Appeals to Caesar and travels to Rome.
On the way experiences a dreadful storm, the ship is destroyed. The passengers are saved only by Pauls prayers and by holding on to planks and pieces of wood. Washed ashore on Malta, he is bitten by a poisonious snake,treated like a god by the natives and finally, after spending the winter there, arrives in Rome.
TRANSITION: DO YOU THINK PAUL HAD THINGS HAPPEN IN HIS LIFE THAT HE COULD BE ANXIOUS ABOUT?
LISTEN TO HOW HE DESCRIBES HIS EXPERIENCES 2 COR. 11:24-29
PAUL KNEW ANXIETY. HE SPEAKS NOT AS ONE FAR REMOVED FROM CIRCUMSTANCES WE FACE, IT ONE WHO FACED MORE THAN MOST OF US COULD POSSIBLY IMAGINE. FROM THAT VANTAGE POINT, HE SAYS,
II. Don’t be Anxious, PRAY Phillipians 4:6
Let’s examine the words Paul uses to describe the prayer he’s talking about.
Mr 9:29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
When faced with evil and the demonic, don’t be anxious, pray.
Lu 6:12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray; and all night he continued in prayer to God.
When faced with important, life changing decisions, don’t be anxious, pray.
Ac 10:31 saying, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God.
When family members. perhaps even you yourself are sick and you desperately need a touch from God, don’t be anxious, pray.
Often the severe need is highlighted with this word, sometimes implies great passion and emotion.
Lu 1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
Ro 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.
When trouble comes, don’t be anxious, pray. Pray with feeling, pray with passion, pray with perseverence, but pray.
Col 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
1Th 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
How? Look for the hand of God in the circumstances. Give thanks In all circunstances, not for all circumstances
1) My 17 year old son Daniel was driving the car from Indianna to Chicago, 65mph in 3rd gear. Totals the engine. Thanks to God that the car is totalled? No, but that the car didn’t die until it got home.
2) 5 years ago I lost a job. Give thanks they knew in advance they would lose the funding, so I could look for another job. Also for God warning me beforehand, months before the funding ran out, that I needed to be looking for something else.
Thankfulness is the attitude of finding God’s hand in whatever we’re going through, looking for God in the midst of of misery, believing that no matter what it is, our heavenly father is manifesting himself somehow on our behalf. It’s believing enough in God’s goodness that no matter what the enemy throws at us we are confident that God is also at work, sustaining us, encouraging us, limiting the damage done.
PAUL SAYS THAT WHEN WE PRAY, WHEN WE POUR OUT OUR HEARTS PASSIONATELY TO GOD, WHEN WE GIVE THANKS IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE RECEIVE HIS PEACE.
III. Don’t be anxious, think differently
READ Phillipians 4:8
Sometimes prayer alone isn’t enough. We’re still anxious because we’re constantly rehearsing in our minds the worst case scenario. Paul says to test your thoughts by this standard
If it doesn’t fit, ask God for help to think differently.
cf. Romans 12:2 Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...