Prayer Focus: United States

Bible Reading: Philippians 1-4

Scripture

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9)

Observation

Paul gives many instructions to the church in Philippi: rejoice, be gentle, do not be anxious, pray…and you will have peace. Think about good things, obey God…and the God of peace will be with them. Quite the checklist…quite the outcome.

Application

This is obviously more than a checklist. Paul is teaching the very things he has been modeling. His experience as both a Pharisee and an apostle of Jesus placed him in countless situations that activated his education, enhanced his prayers, and challenged his faith, and made him desperate for Jesus. He was able to see beyond his preset suffering to a glorious future. The entire book is about joy. It’s not always easy to follow his instructions, but they are rich and rewarding.

Prayer

Jesus, Prince of peace, help me to rejoice when I am discouraged. Help me to be gentle when I want to react and erupt. Help me to have peace when I am prone to worry and fear. Fill my mind with beauty when I’m tempted to expose it to trash. Give me a passion and vision to obey when I’m drawn to sin. I want You. I want to obey You. I want to follow You. Thank You for Your grace, forgiveness and patience. Be my joy! In Your Name, amen.

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