Friday, August 30, 2013

Prayer Brings Peace (Philippians 4.4-9)

Scripture: Philippians 4.4-9

Translation: 4Be happy in the Lord all the time! I’ll say it again, be happy! 5Your graciousness had better be known to all humans. The Lord is near! 6Worry about nothing, rather in everything by prayer and asking with thanksgiving your requests had better be made known to God. 7And the peace of God that surpasses every mind will guard your hearts and thoughts in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are pleasing, whatever things are commendable, if something is a virtue or if something is a praise, think about these things. 9And what things you learned and received and heard and saw in me, practice these things! And the God of peace will be with you!
1.      Structure
a.       Grammatical
                                                              i.      Vv.4-7
1.      2pl impv.
2.      3sg impv.
3.      3sg indic.
4.      2pl impv.
5.      3sg impv.
6.      3sg indic./future
                                                            ii.      Vv.8-9
1.      List + ταυτα λογιζεσθε = 2pl impv.
2.      List + ταυτα πρασσετε = 2pl impv.
3.      3sg indic./future
b.      Content
                                                              i.      Vv.4-5
1.      Rejoice
2.      Graciousness
3.      The Lord
                                                            ii.      Vv.6-7
1.      Don’t worry
2.      Prayer
3.      God and Jesus
                                                          iii.      Vv.8-9
1.      Virtues
2.      Think
3.      Forms of learning
4.      Practice
5.      God
c.       Rhetorical
                                                              i.      Repeated command to rejoice
                                                            ii.      Command to be known for being gracious
                                                          iii.      Basis/motivation for i. and ii.
                                                          iv.      Command to worry about nothing
                                                            v.      Command to pray instead of worry
                                                          vi.      Basis/motivation for/result of iv. and v.
                                                        vii.      List of virtues
                                                      viii.      Command to think about things that fall under the category of vii.
                                                          ix.      List of the ways Paul taught the readers
                                                            x.      Command to practice the things that fall under the category of ix.
                                                          xi.      Motivation/result of vii-x
2.      Themes
a.       Peace
b.      Prayer
c.       Emotions
d.      Virtues
e.       Teaching/learning
f.       Commands
g.      Cause/effect, if/then
h.      Doing
i.        Thinking/mind
j.        Knowing
3.      Doctrines
a.       Jesus is coming soon, He is close
b.      Jesus is close to us, He is with us
c.       Prayer helps us when our emotions are out of control
d.      God is the source of all true peace
e.       Peace is connected with proper thinking and proper living
f.       The presence of God is experienced when we are thinking the way He thinks and living the way He has told us to live
g.      Existential peace as well as interpersonal peace is connected to focusing on the coming of Christ and the presence of God, as well as through prayer
h.      Prayer is for every situation, time, or opportunity
i.        Christians should seek to be known for something, that is Christians should seek to have a certain reputation that is backed up and generated by lifestyles that cultivation a particular kind of reputation
j.        All prayer should be offered with thanksgiving, thankfulness both for the fact that God listens to our prayers, but also for the fact that He answers our prayers, the thanksgiving especially seems to imply a faith that God will answer our prayers
k.      Teaching is achieved not only through formal instruction, but informal
1.      The temptation that many of us face as we go back to school and start new experiences either in college, or high school, or middle school, or even post college will be to be scared or nervous or worried about what could happen, what it will be like, or whatever, but the proper response is not to give into those fears and worry, but to direct our mental activity towards God and all that He is. The best response to worry about the new school year, and the best proactive step to take to avoid fear, nervousness, and worry is to pray. Prayer does not just get you answers, it gets you closer to God, and since God is the God of Peace, the closer you are to Him the closer you are to true and lasting peace. Yes, it does give us peace and gratitude to know that God will answer when we pray, we know that He will give us peace and help with what is coming to us in the new school year, but it also is one way how we connect with God and deepen our relationship with Him, how we experience Him,
2.      We should put our energy not into worry and fear, but into being happy and celebrating all the time, and to being gracious to others
3.      There are thinks that you should be thinking about and things you shouldn’t. think on things worth thinking about, but there are also things that you should be doing, do things that God has told us to do
4.      We will experience God being with us when we thinking about Godly things and live the Christian life, that’s why we feel wrong when we are not thinking about what we should be and when we are doing things God has told us not to do. What we are thinking about and what we are doing has an affect on whether we experience God close to us, if we are thinking about what is good and doing what is good, then we are guaranteed to have God with us, this is true whether we feel Him or not
5.      While surely there is a great focus on what we experience, these statements by Paul also constitute truths we need to hold on to even if we are not feeling them to be true at one time or another. If you are thinking Godly things and doing Godly things, that God will be with you, He is with you, but Paul mostly here is talking about what we will experience.
6.      Also, it might be wise to think about whether we as a community are helping each other thinking Godly things and do Godly things

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