In this sermon, Pastor Neil urges us to keep on praying, talking about our need for, and the benefits of, prayer. He urges us to make prayer a priority. Here are some excerpts:

Five Exhortations

…In the passage we read from Philippians 4, Paul urges us to combat and conquer our anxieties and worries over the things that cause undue stress and distress in our lives through prayer. Verses 4-8 contain five different exhortations for living the kind of life God wants us to live:

  • Rejoice in the Lord always. (This is so important Paul says it twice in verse 4 to make sure we get the point.)
  • Let your gentleness be evident to everyone (verse 5).
  • Don’t be anxious about anything (verse 6).
  • Instead, present your requests to God (verse 6).
  • Focus your mind on things that are true and right and pleasing in God’s sight (verse 8)…

Why Pray?

…Spurgeon comments on a relatively obscure Old Testament verse – Leviticus 6:13 – which says: “The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not goout.” Comparing the prayer life of a Christian to the altar where sacrifices were offered to God, he says we must keep the altar of private, personal prayer burning. We must not let the fire go out. Such devotion, he says, is “the very essence, evidence, and barometer of [a] vital and experiential (faith).” His advice? “Let your seasons of prayer be regular, frequent, and undisturbed.” Not sure what to pray for? Spurgeon suggests “the church, the ministry, your own soul, your children, your relations, your country, and the cause of God and truth throughout the world.” There is plenty there to keep us busy in prayer.

He asks: “Do we engage with lukewarmness in private devotion? Is the fire of devotion burning dimly in our hearts? Do the chariot wheels drag heavily?” (Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, July 15 Morning). It can happen to anyone.

Make Prayer a Priority

You cannot go forward in your life as a Christian unless you are continuing to cultivate a life of prayer, which provides an ongoing connection and conversation between you and God. You cannot go forward in your relationship with God without making prayer a priority in your life.

July 22, 2018

Philippians 4:4-8

Dr. Neil Smith

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