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Stop Worrying, Start Praying

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Don't Worry About Anything, but Pray About Everything

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Introduction:
I have a confession to make; a sin I need to admit. A temptation I have given into, again and again.
I worry.
I am anxious. I  am sometimes so concerned about the future, that I am unable to focus on the present. Apparently, I am not the only one who suffers from this.
Over 40 years ago, Dr. Walter Calvert conducted a study on worry; it was funded by the National Science Foundation. The following statistics are from the study:
40 percent of the things we worry about never happen.
30 percent of our worries concern the past.
12 percent of our worries are needless.
Only 8 percent of what we worry about ever happens. Or, to put in another way, 92% of the things we worry about are not legitimate!
And yet our worry persists.  
TRANSITION: We are going to look at a passage that will show us why we should not worry, what to do instead and the benefits of following its instruction. Let’s turn together to
Philippians 4:6–7 KJV 1900
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Notice first with me that the bible tells us...

1. Don't Worry About Anything

Notice the first part of Verse 6 of our text it says
Phil. 4:6a “Be careful for nothing...”
In verse 6 the term “Be careful for nothing” simply means don’t worry or don’t be anxious about anything. Now, this is a simple command but like the old saying goes “It’s easier said than done”. 
The word Anxious in the dictionary means: Greatly concerned or being in painful suspense.  
As we know Paul wrote this letter written to the Philippian church while he was in prison possible Rome. And If there is anyone in the bible or even history that had a reason to worry or be anxious, it was Paul while he was imprisoned,
There is a story of a village of 1,000 people and one day the Angel of Death came into the village and spoke to the Elder. he told him that he was going to come that night and kill 100 people. The Elder of the village began to worry and told everyone what was going to happen. After the Angel of Death left there were 900 people dead. The elder greatly upset spoke to the Angel of Death and said: “You said you were only going to kill 100 people and now there are 900 dead.” The Angel replied and said, “I only killed 100 the rest died because of worry.”
You see Church, worry can have physical consequences—we can literally worry ourselves sick or even too death. “Headaches,” “neck pain,” “back pains,” “ulcers,” “bad digestion,” and “white hair” can all be the result of our fixation on things we can’t control or have not happened yet.
I mean look at me I already have some white hairs! I need to take some time to calm myself or ill have a whole head of white hair before I’m 35!
Worry can also stop us from fulfilling the will of God for our lives. You see when Christ cam to earth the bible says that he “made himself of no reputation...” That means he didn’t care what anyone thought of him. he had one mission and that mission was to save the souls of men.
Is your reputation holding you back from fulfilling the call of God on your life? do you let what others think of you consume you so much so that you don’t share the gospel with them?
TRANSITION: We see that we are not to worry about anything. However, like most of Paul’s teaching, he always offers something better to replace that which we are to avoid. that leads us to number two.

2. Pray About Everything

Let’s look at the second part of verse six here in our text.
Phil.4:6b “but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Notice it says in every thing by “Prayer and supplication.”
In Spanish the word we use for “Prayer Requests” is “Peticiones” that is “Petitions.” Our requests we make to God are petitions to God.
We should be going before God on a regular basis and talking to him or in other words praying to him about our needs and desires. Lifting our family up by name and asking specific things they are in need of. Making petitions to God for family and needs.
It also mentions we need to give those prayers and petitions with “Thanksgiving”
Something we must remember, when we are making these requests known to God, we must make sure we do it in a spirit of thanksgiving. 
Have you ever been around a person that just constantly asked for things and was never thankful for what they received? Imagine how God feels when Christians constantly ask for things but never do it with a thankful spirit!  Be thankful when you come before God.
“Praying about everything” can replace worry about anything.
The famous Bible Commentator Matthew Henry modeled how thanksgiving can help you handle even trauma. After being assaulted and robbed, Henry wrote in his journal: “Let me be thankful. First, I was never robbed before. Second, although they took my money, they didn’t take my life. Third, although they took my all, it was not much. Fourth, let me be thankful because it was I who was robbed and not I who did the robbing.”
We should pray about everything with thanksgiving. We can pray for forgiveness about the past, we can pray for wisdom for the future, we can pray for strength for today, and we should pray for others, therefore we can trust God for all our needs because he is faithful.
In other words, don’t worry about anything, Instead, pray about everything!
TRANSITION: And when you do, here’s what will happen. Number three.

3. The Peace of God Will Guard Your Heart and Mind

Philippians 4:7 KJV 1900
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Notice the verse says “The peace of God that passes all understanding…”
The world looks at Christians and wonders how even in the darkest moments we can have peace in our hearts. This doesn’t mean we don’t grieve or feel pain in our hearts but rather it means that even in the darkest moments we can have a calm and joyful spirit because we know our God is in control. 
This verse also says: “…shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
God gives us this promise that he will take care of us even when there is no end sight. He will guard us and keep us till the end of the world and throughout eternity!
Paul here reminds the Philippians that when they pray about everything, they will replace their anxiety for God’s peace.  
There is just something about that sweet time in prayer that calms the heart!
In Paul’s time, a prison guard was a serious job. His life depended on him doing his job correctly. I don’t mean that if he was a little lazy he would get less pay but rather if he didn’t do his job correctly he would lose his life by the King! 
So a prison guard was someone who kept the prisoners very very secure. because his life depended on it. I am sure many of these men did not have a clam heart!
The peace of God is something our human minds in and of itself can’t produce, even as Christians, but our hearts can experience it. When we decide to stop worrying about anything and everything but instead praying about everything, we are rewarded with God’s peace.
To be honest I don’t fully understand how this works. But that’s ok! Because, God gives us that peace when we ask for it even if we don’t understand how it all works.
TRANSITION: Let’s review what this passage has to teach us…
Philippians 4:6–7 KJV 1900
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Review:
We saw first that we are
1. Not to worry about anything.
Worry is an enemy and can do some serious damage in our lives and can hinder us from serving God to our full potential.
We also saw that
2. We are supposed to pray about everything.
We can bring everything before God our needs, wants, desires, family, and friends. We also must remember to do it all with a spirit of thanksgiving!
Lastly we saw that as a result of not worrying and praying about everything that
3. The peace of God will guard our hearts and minds.
There is nothing like the peace of God in our lives. the lost don’t understand and never will until the come to know Christ as their savior.
Conclusion:
Church, don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything and the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds.
This week I want to encourage you to focus on prayer filled with thanksgiving, reflect on what God has done for you, cast your cares on him, make a list of your concerns, and when you hand them over to him, he will in exchange give you his peace.
Also I would like to address the person that may be here that has worry in their life not because of whats going on in the world but maybe because you are afraid of dying and not sure about where you will spend eternity.
Friend, the bible is very clear that you have broken the law of God. You might say “Well brother Trent im not a bad person and I’m sure God will forgive me because I’m a good person!”
Have you ever thought that? Thought that you are a good person?
Let me ask you a few questions to see how good of a person you really are.
How many lies have you told in your life? If you have told a lie even just one that makes you a lier.
How about this. Have you ever stolen anything regardless of its value? Paper, pen, candy, something from a store? Then that makes you a thief.
How are you doing so far? still think your a good person. you might say “Brother Trent, of course Ive done that but I’m not like a murderer or anything like that.”
Well did you know Christ says in Matthew 5 that if you are angry with someone that God sees that the same as murder and in the same chapter that if you look at someone with lust that you are an adulterer.
You have broken the Holy Moral Law of God and you are guilty.
If I were to go up to an old beat up car and take my key and scratch it would I get in trouble? Of course. I could get anything from a stern talking to to having to to get spend money to cover the scratch.
Now If i went up to a Lamborghini and took my key and scratched it would I be in more trouble? You better bet because the thing I have done the offence too has a much higher value that the old beat up car. Even though I did the same thing to each car the value of one is much more offensive.
Now, think about that for a moment. You have broken God’s law. You have commited a crime against the most Holy Perfect one there is, ever was and ever will be. There has to be a punishment to match the crime. That punishment that you and every single person on this earth past, present, and future deserves is eternity in Hell!
You are guilty and this is your righteous just punishment for breaking that law. But there is good news. God sent his Son to take your punishment for you. He did that 2,000 years ago on the cross. So now the question is this. What must be done for your sins to be forgiven.
All you need to do is Repent (That is to turn away form your sins or reject them and turn to Christ) and ask him to forgive you of your sins.
You can do that today before you leave here. you can do it at this alter. you can do it at your seat. you don’t have to wait you can do it now. If you want to repent of your sins and ask Christ to save you then you can prayer a heart felt repentive prayer something like this.
““God, be merciful to me a sinner. Lord, I need to be saved. Save me. I call upon your name…Lord, I am guilty, I deserve your wrath. Lord, I cannot save myself. Lord, I want to have a new heart and a right spirit, but what can I do? Lord, I can do nothing, come and work in me. I now call upon your name. Trembling, yet believing, I cast myself wholly upon you, O Lord. I trust the blood and righteousness of Thy dear Son…Lord, save me today.”
Sinner trust Christ today! and Christian stop worrying and start praying.
Let’s pray.
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