In this sermon, Pastor Neil continues his series on “Whatever You Do.” Here, he talks about prayer life, giving encouragement and suggestions. Here are some excerpts:
…In devoting ourselves to prayer, Paul says we are to keep watch (gregorountes) and to do it with thanksgiving (eucharistia). What he means is that we are to stay alert, to keep our eyes open to what God is doing, where He is at work in the church and the world, and how He is at work in our own lives and in the lives of people around us, so that we may join the Lord in what He is doing. And we are to give thanks to God for all the ways, big and small, that we see Him at work. God does not always broadcast what He is up to. If you’re not paying attention, you can miss the ways God is at work, the things He is doing, to bring about change and healing and hope.
Watchfulness and thankfulness are two hallmarks in the life of someone who is steadfast in prayer. How is it in your life? Are you paying attention to what God is doing? Are the eyes of your heart open to see where and how God is at work? Is thanksgiving a central part of your prayer life? Listen to what the Bible says about the importance of thankfulness:
Colossians 2:6-7: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and” – what? – “overflowing with thankfulness (eucharistia).”
Ephesians 5:4: “(Among you) there should be no obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place (in God’s family), but rather thanksgiving (eucharistia).” As it says in The Message, “That kind of talk doesn’t fit our style. Thanksgiving is our dialect.” Let’s make sure we speak our dialect. Especially now. But always.
Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving (eucharistia), present your requests to God.” Even as we bring our prayers of petitions for ourselves and our intercessions for others to the Lord in prayer, we are to have an attitude of gratitude, to give thanks to God for prayers answered, and for answers yet to come.
1 Timothy 2:1-3: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving (eucharistia) be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior….”
And then there is this, as we have already seen in Colossians 3:17: “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks (the verb eucharisteo) to God the Father through Him.” “Whatever you do,” of course, includes prayer.
Pastor Neil has much more to say on this topic. Please click on the link below to hear the sermon in its entirety.