The Church is Called to be...Prayerful
Scripture: Philippians 4:4–4:9
Key Truth: The Church is called to be prayerful and give thanks knowing that the battle is already won in Christ.
Q: Do you consider prayer to be a duty or a delight? What do you think most contributes to your consideration?
“Now the disquieting thing is not simply that we skimp and begrudge prayer. The really disquieting thing is it should have to be numbered among duties at all. For we believe that we were created ‘to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ And if the few, the very few, minutes we now spend on intercourse with God are a burden to us rather than a delight, what then?”
C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer
Rejoice and Display Your Gentleness in Christ:
“Genuine Christian joy is not inward looking. It is not by concentrating on our need for happiness, but on the needs of others, that we learn to rejoice…In other words, Paul expects believers to be guided by a frame of mind that does not put priority on personal rights. Believers whose primary concern is whether or not they are being deal with fairly will fail to exercise a fundamental element of Christian behavior: preferring others above themselves.”
Moises Silva, Philippians
Q: What most affects your joy and affection for the Lord? What most affects your reasonableness (or gentleness) toward others?
Pray, Give Thanks, and Receive Peace:
“When we fail to pray with confidence and expectation, we are violating the 3rd commandment and taking the Lord’s name in vain given that we are praying in Jesus’ name.”
Archie Parrish, Paraphrase from Lecture on Prayer at RTS
Q: What most affects your anxiety or anxiousness? What are you most thankful for? What gives you peace and protects your heart and mind?
“Christians have often in the course of their history had to endure social ostracism and outright persecution. But the proper response to these tragedies is not retreat from the unbelieving world or a strictly reactionary response to it. It is instead a proactive attempt to embrace truth wherever it is found within the world and to integrate it with the truth found in Scripture.”
Frank Thielman, The NIV Application Commentary: Philippians
Q: What moves you and contributes to you flourishing in the abundant life?
“Paul’s antidote is very clear: Let joy take the place of your discontent and anxiety. Look away from yourselves to the needs of [others], being willing to yield your rights and privileges for their sake. And as far as your needs are concerned, bring them all before God in an attitude of thankfulness for what he has already given you. If you do this, you will learn what true and unshakable contentment really is.”
Moises Silva, Philippians
The Church that is prayerful:
-primarily rejoices and displays their gentleness to others in Christ
-combats anxiety with thankfulness and confidence in the Father who gives good gifts in response to the prayers of His children
-seeks and acts on all that is true and beautiful in the world as part of flourishing in the Gospel