Prayers and Petitions

Philippians 4:6, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (ESV).

God hears our petitions, our pleas for His grace and mercy upon our lives and wants to deliver us from our wicked ways. All he asks is that we love Him and each other with our complete heart. Romans 13:9-10 reads, “For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (ESV).

As we follow the Great Commission Jesus gave us to go and make Disciples in Matthew 28:19-20, we must ensure we are doing it with love and God will be with us to protect us. This is not only for the men of the church, but for women as well; women have just as a vital part in making Disciples as men do. Philippians 4:6 states, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (ESV). This scripture puts into perspective exactly how we should wait for God to answer our prayers. When we engage in prayer, we must continue to have faith the God knows exactly what he is doing. We do not know His plan for our lives and He will answer prayers in due time.

When God gave Jeremiah a message to the exiles he wrote, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13, ESV). God will reveal His plan for ours as He answers our prayers in due season. We require patience and continuous love towards Him and our neighbors.

Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the Philippians; Philippians 4 English Standard Version (ESV) Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. Exhortation, Encouragement, and Prayer 2 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord.  3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;  6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

God’s Provision

10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.  11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14 Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.  15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only.  16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.  17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.  18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.  19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. Final Greetings 21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you.  22 All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

The first verse immediately informs all of us that God loves us. We must remember that when reading the Bible to put ourselves in play. Even though this letter is from Apostle Paul to the Philippians, we have the discernment to know it was for all God’s people. We are God’s joy and crown if we are a part of His Kingdom by being disciple of Christ Jesus. During trials and tribulations we must continue to stand firm. Jesus is our Rock and the Solid Ground we stand on and it will not crumble.

Even in the early days of the church beginning, there were troubles with women in the churches disagreeing and causing havoc. In verses 2 and 3 Paul is asking us to stop the bickering, gossip, and foolishness that are going on among ourselves. And not just the women, men must also steer away from such folly. These women are laborers for Christ and should know better, but we all need help. If you see a man or woman of God backsliding, instead of talking about them behind their back, do as Paul asked the Philippians and help them be reconciled to Christ.

Paul called on His true companions to help the women of Euodia and Syntyche in verse 3 and established that men and women are equal in the eyes of the Lord. He then pleaded with all to rejoice in the Lord. Rejoicing means so much to God that Paul wrote it twice in verse 4 to ensure we understand that we must give thanksgiving only to God and He will give us rest. Verse 5 is exactly how we are to portray ourselves, with reasonableness, fairness, and sensibleness, which is what Uncertainties and Reasoning portrays. To be Christ-like is to be gentle, reasonable, kind, fair, and sensible.

For every Uncertainty the Bible has the Reasoning for our lives and verse 5 ends with the Lord is at hand or the Lord is near. God is always with us and watching our actions, physically and spiritually. If God is always watching, then continue to do as verse 6 tells us, be patient and not anxious. Give God thanksgiving in prayers and petitions. Call on God, follow His commands and see if He will not open the floodgates of heaven in your life. Malachi 3:10 reads, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And there by put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need” (ESV).

That is the only place in the bible where God tells you and allows you to test Him. I implore you to constantly pay your tithes and see what God will do for you. Following His commands is how we understand verse 7 and know that God wants peace in our lives. He wants to be at peace with us. Just as a father disciplines his children, so will God discipline us for not obeying His rules. Why do we listen to our natural parents who cannot give us everlasting life? Why do we forsake God’s commands who gave us His only begotten Son Jesus Christ, which is the only way to everlasting life? Jesus will give us that inner peace and guard our hearts using the Holy Spirit He gave us to comfort us.

In verses 8 and 9, Paul pleads with us to follow his example. We must understand that Paul was a Disciple and Apostle of Christ Jesus and he was following Jesus as the perfect role model. In our minds and our actions we commit ourselves to being better each year, each month, each week, each, day, each hour, each minute and down to each fraction of a second. Jesus never turned to the left or the right when God our Father told Him to move forward. The only way to learn these things is to read and understand His Word and will, The Holy Bible.

If you have an Uncertainty, turn to the Sword of God, The Word of God and find your answer and reasoning. The Philippians sent Paul gifts, tithes and offerings, and Paul is acknowledging that although it has been a long time since the last time, he knew it was not their fault. God knows when we have had an emergency and may have missed paying our tithes and offering right away. He will forgive us of our sins if we continue to petition Jesus in thanksgiving prayers and ensure we repent. Paul then further lets them know he is a patient man and was not anxious for anything. This lets us know to be content in all situations because God will take care of all our needs; Psalm 37:4 reads, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (ESV).

Having patience and being relaxed in all situations allows God messages to be heard with clarity. Verse 12 and 13 demonstrates that we will have highs and lows. We can last with Jesus on our side through famine, pain, and ridicule. The stumbling blocks others put in front of us are nothing when we give it to Jesus because he will give us the strength and endurance to come out victorious. In verse 14, Paul lets the Philippians know it was good for them to let him know of their troubles; we must let God know of our troubles.

God already knows the trouble we are going through, but wants us to pay thanksgiving to Him in prayers and petition Him to bring us through. God wants to be acknowledged; He is a jealous God and wants your complete heart. Giving thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ let’s God know you are doing His will and not your own will. The Philippians were the only ones initially supporting Paul’s journeys and travels as we read in verses 15 and 16. Are you a Philippian and ensuring your thanksgiving is being heard by God? Or are you just receiving the messages and going about your way?

It is was not that Paul needed their gifts, tithes and offerings, as he says in verse 17 but we must follow Gods commands so the churches and ministries that are doing God’s work can spread out into the world and deliver the Good news. We just read what was written in Malachi about bringing in the full tithes and Jesus gave a warning to us using the Pharisees. Luke 11:42 reads, “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others” (ESV). Jesus tells us that we are to still tithe but not to forget to also be just and love God. An Ambassador for Christ and a Disciple of Christ must not pick and choose the actions they will live by. All that is written in God’s Word shall be done.

The gifts that we give in our tithes and offering to the churches and ministries are planting seeds that will bear fruit. Not apples and oranges but the Spiritual gifts from God, everlasting life through Jesus Christ. A Good Samaritan asked Jesus how to receive eternal life. Jesus put the question back on him by asking him how he reads the law, “And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” Luke 10:27, ESV). Loving our God is to follow his commands, not some of them but all of them.

In verse 18, Paul lets us know that the Philippians sacrificed themselves for the work of God with the offering they sent. It was not so much that it would take care of all of Paul’s needs, but because it came from the heart, it was pleasing to God and Paul knew they gave all they could and not just what they wanted to give. Paul had the understanding that what they gave would stretch and God will provide the rest for his continued work. When we are doing God will, and not our own, He will provide our needs.

In verse 19 and 20, Paul blesses the Philippians for this sacrifice and telling them that God will give them all their needs through Jesus Christ but for God glory, not Paul’s and not the Philippians. We pay tribute to God and God alone, who is the Father, Son, and The Holy Spirit. We give thanksgiving to God and we should do it just as Paul said, “To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen”(Philippians 4:20, ESV).The Perfect Role Model is Jesus Christ, but the God’s Word the Holy Bible is filled with many role models we can strive to be like before reaching the plateau where Jesus is.

The final three verses of Philippians chapter 4, 20, 21, and 23, are how we should act amid each other. We are to great each other with open arms; ensure we welcome everyone with love. All the followers of Christ, all the Disciple of Jesus, each and every Ambassador for God should welcome everyone under the sun with love and forgive each other for our sins. We have all learned the Lord’s prayer and I am sure many of us say it. Jesus told us to pray this way and it has a command in it for us to follow. Jesus said, Matthew 6:9-15 English Standard Version (ESV) 9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done,  on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts,  as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from evil. 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,  15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Here in verse 12 of Matthew Chapter 6, during this thanksgiving prayer and petition, we are telling God we are going to forgive those that have sinned against us. We cannot continue to hold grudges, hatred, and continue with foolishness and expect God to be graceful and merciful towards us.

 

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