Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why prophecy and prayer go together

Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ

Hope is present conviction rooted in the certainty of who God is and what He is going to do.  According to Titus 2:13, the second coming of Jesus Christ constitutes the "Blessed Hope" of the Christian faith.  Today we want to see why prophecy and prayer go together.

Prayer proceeds by hope, prophecy supplies it
As you look at the statement made here in Philippians, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul was writing to a church located at a cultural center of the Roman empire.  Much like a "county seat" in an American context - Phillipi was a place where issues such as Roman Citizenship played a huge role.  To be a Roman citizen meant privileges that very few people in the first century had the opportunity to enjoy.  For these people to whom Paul wrote - the fundamental question was: from whence do you derive your hope? The Christian must fight the temptation of placing too much hope in this world, which is why Paul directs their attention, and ours, to the return of Jesus Christ. 

Now in just a few verses we read an incredible statement on the need of prayer.  Philippians 4:6-7 tells us: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving make your requests known to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understand will guard your hearts and minds in Christ."  Grammar and context connects Philippians 4:6-7 back to Philippians 3:20-21.  In order to "be anxious for nothing" in prayer, I need to keep my heart focused upon the blessed hope of Christ's return.  The hope needed in prayer is supplied by the hope of His return.

The Bible puts prophecy and prayer together
As we already witnessed, Philippians 3:20-21 and Philippians 4:6-7 are connected to one another.  Prophecy's effectiveness can only be seen as we apply its message to our current situation through prayer.  When we pray in accordance to Philippians 4:6-7 we are promised "peace that surpasses all understanding" and "guarding of the heart and mind in Christ".  What prophecy does is lift me above the immediate horizon of my circumstances to see Christ who is Lord over my circumstances.  To know that the end of all time is not in the whims of chance, but rather in the will of God, gives great hope concerning personal situations.

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