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Summary: Following the theme of joy in the book of Phillippians, this message deals with the connection of prayer and joy

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02 LIVING JOYFULLY IN LIFE

Prayer and Joy

Philippians 1:3-5 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.

INTRODUCTION: WELL, TODAY, WE MOVE SLIGHTLY FORWARD IN OUR STUDY OF THE BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS. YET, THESE ARE POWERFUL VERSES, FOR THEY LAY OUT THE PRAYER OF PAUL FOR THIS CHURCH.

E. STANLEY JONES WRITES, “PRAYER IS SURRENDER – SURRENDER TO THE WILL OF GOD AND COOPERATION WITH THAT WILL. IF I THREW OUT A BOAT HOOK FROM A BOAT AND CATCH HOLD OF THE SHORE AND PULL, DO I PULL THE SHORE TO ME, OR DO I PULL MYSELF TO THE SHORE? PRAYER IS NOT PULLING GOD TO MY WILL, BUT THE ALIGNING OF MY WILL TO THE WILL OF GOD.”

THERE ARE MULTIPLE TIMES WHERE PAUL BEGINS A LETTER AND SPEAKS FIRST ABOUT HIS PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH THE LETTER IS SENT TO.

WHAT MAKES THIS PRAYER SIGNIFICANT FOR US TODAY, AND WORTHY OF A LITTLE STUDY IS THAT IT IS A “PRAYER WITH JOY” NOW, SINCE WE ARE LOOKING FOR JOY IN OUR LIVES, THEN IT MIGHT BE HELPFUL TO SEE HOW JOY PLAYS OUT IN PRAYER.

IF WE WERE TO TAKE A SOMBER MOMENT, ASKING OURSELVES ABOUT THE JOY IN OUR PRAYER LIFE, WE MIGHT BE SHOCKED AT THE LACK OF JOY IN PRAYING.

PROPOSITION: PRAYER IS IMPORTANT IN OUR SEARCH FOR JOY

TRANSITION: IN THE WORDS OF JOHN BUNYAN, “YOU CAN DO MORE THAN PRAY AFTER YOU HAVE PRAYED, BUT YOU CANNOT DO MORE THAN PRAY UNTIL YOU HAVE PRAYED.”

I. THE THANKS IN OUR PRAYER

a. KIND OF INTERESTING THAT THE FIRST THING PAUL PRAYS ABOUT IS THANKS, NOT A REQUEST.

b. IT MIGHT BE GOOD TO THINK FOR A MOMENT ABOUT THIS – THE METHODOLOGY OF OUR PRAYER MAY HAVE A DIRECT CORRELATION TO OUR JOY AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST.

c. THE SCRIPTURE SHOWS US THAT PAUL WAS THANKFUL IN A VARIETY OF SITUATIONS

i. HE WAS THANKFUL FOR HIS CURRENT STATE

ii. HE GAVE THANKS FOR THE CHURCH IN ROME

Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.

1. THIS CHURCH WAS DOING GOOD WORK

iii. HE GAVE THANKS FOR THE CHURCH IN CORINTH

1 Corinthians 1:4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,

1. THIS WAS A CHALLENGING CHURCH WITH LOTS OF PROBLEMS

d. PAUL’S THANKS WAS BASED ON THE SPIRITUAL BLESSING THEY HAD RECEIVED FROM GOD, NOT THE CIRCUMSTANCES THEY WERE IN RIGHT NOW

i. PAUL WAS SENSITIVE TO THE PROBLEMS OF THE CHURCH BUT MORE SO SENSITIVE TO THE MERCIES OF GOD IN DEALING WITH THE ISSUES

ii. PAUL’S THANKS AND HENCE HIS JOY CAME ABOUT FROM A FOUNDATIONAL CONVICTION IN THE POWER AND INVOLVEMENT OF GOD IN THE LIFE OF CHURCHES AND BELIEVERS!

e. WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN TO GIVE THANKS OR BE THANKFUL?

i. FIRST THE WORD THANKS IS THE GREEK WORD EUCHARISTO.

ii. WE GET THE WORD EUCHARIST FROM IT – A WORD ASCRIBED TO THE LORD’S SUPPER IN LITURGICAL CHURCHES

iii. IT MEANS, SIMPLY ENOUGH, “TO GIVE THANKS”.

f. THE QUALITY OF OUR THANKS


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