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Joseph Scriven was born in 1819 in Ireland.
Growing up he had a devoted family, education and wealth.
The day before he was scheduled to be married, his fiancee drowned.
In the aftermath of the pain and heartache, Joseph found the solace and support through Jesus Christ.
Joseph was a Christian, and he found that even in the darkest of storms, the peace of Jesus was able to calm his heart.
Soon after the tragedy Joseph left Ireland for Port Hope, Canada.
he determined to spend his extra time being a friend and a helper to others.
He became known as the “Good Samaritan of Port Hope”
Later, Scriven’s own mother became Ill in Ireland, he wanted to comfort her with eternal truth.
He sent a letter that contained a poem that he had recently written.
The first stanza went like this.
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Ev’rything to God in prayer!
Many of you recognize this poem as the first verse of a song.
It is the beginning of a Hymn that has encouraged so many people, “What a Friend we Have in Jesus”
The truth is that many of us relate to being weak and heavy laden.
We know what it is to have troubles, and we know what it is like to be with others as they go through hard times.
And the fact that we can turn these troubles over to God in prayer is a great comfort.
The New Testament Church of Philippi was also in need of this type of comfort and peace.
They were dealing with issues of disunity, of false teachers.
Their city was under the guard of the Roman army, and the man who planted their church was being held in prison for his belief in Jesus.
I’m sure that they were tempted to fall into a place of great frustration.
I’m sure that it was pressing on their patience.
There was plenty to worry and complain about.
Paul doesn’t want to see that happen.
Can you relate?
Are you carrying some weight in your life today?
When you put your head on your pillow, are there thoughts running through your mind and keeping you awake?
What does Paul, the imprisoned missionary and church planter say to those living in Philippi?
What is God the Holy Spirit saying to us today?
We see in this passage:
Why We Pray
What we pray.
How Prayer affects our whole person.
Why We Pray
There are many great reasons to pray, but in the context of Philippians, the reason we pray is because prayer defeats worry.
Just seeing the command “Don’t worry about anything” can get a person worried.
Now, I’m worried that I’m worried instead of praying.
Here is a pair of sunglasses.
What if I was to breathe warm air onto the lens.
Now when I look through the lens, its cloudy, its fuzzy, and I’m not seeing the world clearly any more.
That’s what worry does.
It clouds our vision with anxiety.
We don’t see things clearly when we look at them from a place of worry.
Jesus teaches on worry in the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 6:25.
Let me paraphrase it for you.
Don’t worry about what you eat or drink.
Don’t worry about what clothes you are going to wear.
And here’s why,
Look at the birds.
They don’t have the skills to plant seeds, grow crops, and store up food.
But God takes care of them.
You are worth more than the birds.
God will take care of you.
Why do you put so much worry into your clothes, and how people will see you.
Consider the wildflowers.
They don’t go shopping, they don’t create, they don’t sew.
But not even Solomon, the richest King of Israel was adorned like these wildflowers.
If that’s how God clothes the fields, which are here today and used as fuel for the fire tomorrow, won’t he do so much more for you?
God is willing, and God is able to take care of you.
Worry will distract you.
Worry will pull your focus from God and his power, to your problems and their pain.
So what are we to do?
The pain is real.
The problems are pressing.
This world is full of hardship, worry seems to be our first instinct.
Can we develop a habit of prayer that will put worry out of the equation?
Don Carson summarizes it this way...
Resolve Not to Be Anxious about Anything, but Learn Instead to Pray.
Why we pray?
Because God is bigger than our worries, bigger than our problems.
Why we pray?
Because Jesus tells us not to worry, because in God’s eyes we have worth.
Why we pray?
Because it is far more healthy than worry.
The words “anything” and “everything” stand out here.
Don’t worry about anything.
That is very comprehensive, it includes whatever it is that you are worried about right now.
But in everything, pray.
It is not just for the big things that we are to pray for.
Its everything.
Nothing is too great for God, nothing is too small for God.
And anything can find a way to bring you worry, so in everything.
What are you going through today?
Have your prayed about it?
Lets learn about how that prayer will look.
What We Pray
Think about a mother and her sobbing child.
Maybe there was a fall, and a knee was scraped.
That mother will say, “What’s wrong, what happened?”
and the child will tell a little story.
And the mother will pour out her love, and in her arms the child will know safety and help.
We pray to God, our heavenly Father, we tell him our story and he listens with care and with love.
And in his arms, we will know safety and help.
I’m so glad that I have a God who cares for me.
I’m so glad that I have a God who is willing to take my cares on himself, and who is strong enough to save me.
Prayer & Petition
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