Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Philippians 4:4 tells us to REJOICE! Philippians 4:5 tells us to RESPOND! Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to RESTRUCTURE. This is how we can live joyful lives when the circumstances of our ministries are anything but happy. This restruturing has two elements. We saw in my last posting that it involves turning our anxiety into prayer. We are to WORRY about NOTHING but instead to PRAY about EVERYTHING. We are to turn our WORRY list into our PRAYER list. And there are three specific ways that we learn how to do exactly this.

First, we must pray with PERSEVERANCE! Paul said that instead inf worrying, "in everything" we are to pray. Paul echoed the same words to the church at Thessalonica when he wrote, "Pray withotu ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). No matter how ugly things continue to become for you in your life or in your ministry, keep on praying!

Second, we must pray with PARTICULRS! In the passage we are looking at, Paul used the word "prayer" and he uses the word "supplication." "Prayer" is a general term while "supplciation" speaks of praying in personal detail. Don't just pray. Pray specifically. What specifically are you asking God to do?

Third, we must pray with PRAISE! Paul said that not only are we to pray "in everything" but we are also to do so "with thanksgiving." Paul echoed this to the Thessalonican church as well when he wrote to them, "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). And it is the will of God for you too - even in the midst of the hurt you are experiencing in your ministry.

We are to turn our anxiety into PRAYER. But this restructuring that leads to joyful lives even when life hurts also includes turning our anxiety into PEACE! I will talk about this in my next posting.

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