Originally written: 9/12/2012 Updated: 2/13/2020
Words of encouragement to new (and older) Saints.
Today we are going to look at a universal problem among men and that is our tendency to worry. Some people are just natural-born worriers. They worry about everything. And if they don’t have any cares to worry about they find someone who has cares and they worry for them. But as true believers in Christ, we are told not to worry.
Philippians 4:6 (KJV)
6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
The definition of worry is to torment oneself with cares and anxieties; to suffer from disturbing thoughts; to fret. But the Bible tells us Christians that we are not to worry like the world does. Worrying causes us to suffer, to fret and to otherwise be unhappy. But guess what. Now that you are saved you have some benefits that the world does not have. You have a restored and positive relationship with God and you have Jesus interceding for you and saying good things about you. You have the Holy Ghost to help you and you have a host of saved people cheering for you. While worrying torments you, Jesus has brought you peace. Be comforted in knowing that God hears you when you pray.
The Bible tells us that God does not hear a sinner pray. One of the reasons why Ministers work so hard to get lost men and women saved is because we want everyone to be able to have access to God who listens to and answers their prayers. We know how badly men and women need the Lord on their side. However, the only prayer that God wants to hear from a sinner is the Prayer of Repentance. It is only when you become a worshipper of God that He will hear you. This is based upon John 9:31 (KJV) which says,
31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
But, new Christians, you are no longer a sinner, for you have been translated out of the Kingdom of Darkness into the Kingdom of Light. You now have the powerful privilege of prayer. Prayer is an important weapon in your arsenal against worry.
We’re going to talk about what prayer is, then discuss supplication, thanksgiving, and requests, the other words of Philippians 4:6. Those words again are:
Prayer is direct communication with God. Isn’t it awesome to know that little old you can talk directly to the God who made everything? The God of the Universe is sitting and waiting to hear you speak to Him. He wants to talk to you. Yes, He wants to talk to you. The Bible says that we ought always to pray and not faint.
Luke 18:1 (KJV)
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint
That Scripture tells us that before we throw up our hands about a situation and get all frustrated and start to worry, talk to God about it.
Some new Christians may think that you have to be sitting in some special position or that you must use some certain words, but that’s not the case. God wants to talk to you in your language. We lift our hands to Him in adoration and we kneel before Him in humility, but we are also able to speak to Him while driving the car or sitting in a crowd.
He doesn’t care that you might not have all of the “wherefores” and “thous” and “thines” down. He wants to hear your voice. Of course, you are not going to be disrespectful with the “Yo’ homeys” or the “Hey JC” because you are going to be humble and respectful.
Jesus’s disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray and He taught them using what we often call “The Lord’s Prayer”. This prayer was simply a template or pattern for how we can talk to God. Let’s go over it together. Recite or read it with me.
Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV)
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Now let’s break the verses down so that we all understand what Jesus is telling us in this pattern of prayer.
Our Father which art in heaven, recognizes God for who He is and where He is located. Satan is the god of this world but you are talking to The God of Everything.
Hallowed be thy name. Here you are honoring God and blessing his name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. This recognizes that God’s kingdom is coming to earth at the end of the Millenium. God is coming to earth to live with men after He has overthrown Satan and all who are not found in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev 21:3). You’re saying just as all Heaven obeys Your will, you want everyone in the earth to do the same.
Give us this day our daily bread. Here you are saying I rely on You every day for my necessary food and drink. I know You to be the source of all my provisions and I know I can trust You to feed me.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Here you are saying, “Forgive me for all of my sins based on how I have forgiven others”. You forgive because you were forgiven and so that you can be forgiven.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. You are saying, “Don’t let me fall into any situation that’s going to mess up my relationship with You Lord; protect me from all evil, even those that I might cause myself.”
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. “Father, You control everything and all that is, including all powers, and therefore all glory belongs to You.”
Amen. That settles it.
Now, let’s look at the second word in our list from Philippians 4:6, which is supplication.
A prayer of supplication is an earnest, humble petition or request. While the Scripture does tell us that we can come boldly to the throne of grace, we still have to recognize who God is and humble ourselves before Him. Hebrews 4:16 says
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Let’s discuss what is meant by boldness in this verse. That Scripture lets us know that even if you have been swinging on a pole before you were saved or even if you were addicted to or selling drugs before salvation, you can now stand boldly alongside someone who has lived for God for seventy years. Come right on up to the table and get your blessing like anyone else. Once God has forgiven you, you have to forgive yourself. It does not matter how wrong we have been in the past, once we are saved, we belong to God. We no longer have to see ourselves as the scum that we were, but we can approach Him because He is our loving Father.
Have you ever seen a puppy who might have been abused by its former owner? When that puppy is taken in by a gentle and loving new owner the puppy wants to trust. He wants to reach out in love but he might be afraid. Well, you might have been abused by the devil before you yielded to God, but God is now saying to you, “I love you and I want you to come to me. I will meet all of your needs. Don’t be shy or afraid.”
Let’s balance it out though. We don’t come demanding or trying to make God do anything. We simply ask of Him based on what He has already told us that He wants to do for us. So, even though we can boldly come before God we still have to approach Him in humility and recognition of who He is.
God tells us that He will provide for us just as He provides for the lilies of the field and for the little birds.
Luke 12:22-32 (KJV)
22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.
24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?
29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
The third word in our list is thanksgiving. The late Apostle Lobias Murray often taught us that we can get more out of God by praising Him than by begging Him. Let God know that you are grateful for the things that He has already done. Remembering His past blessings to you will also help you to receive what you are asking for. If He did it once, He’ll do it again. Have a thankful spirit before God. He loves that.
And our final word in the list is requests, which are expressions of needs or desires. When we are asking God for those things that we need (and yes, some of our desires) we must remember that we are not to ask amiss.
James 4:2-3 (KJV)
2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Also, we must remember to pray for the needs of others rather than always crying out for our own needs or, as I have heard others say…for my four and no more.
And, before I close this discussion, I want to remind all of the new converts that have not received the baptism of the Holy Ghost to ask for it. God will give it to you. Luke 11: 9-13 says:
Luke 11:9-13 (KJV)
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Well, beloved hearts, I pray that this little lesson has been helpful to you. I am grateful that you have given your heart to the Lord and that you are on your way to Heaven. Spread the Word to others who may be looking for the Lord like you were. Be a light to them and do not worry about anything. Just pray.
Keep up the great work!! We are never to old to grow in Christ!