Monday, November 22, 2010

Worship: Thanksgiving & Supplication

Today we will discuss Thanksgiving and Supplication, and wrapping up our look at worship. Thanksgiving is pretty simple and self-explanatory. It is simply giving God thanks for what he has done for us. Supplication is asking God’s favor and provision for ourselves and others.

This week we celebrate a festival of Thanksgiving. Ideally this feast is meant to give glory and honor and thanks to God for all he has done for us. For many, though, Thanksgiving is a hectic day filled with cooking, eating, football, eating, family tension, eating, and if we are lucky a prayer to bless all that food involved in the eating. I want us to practice being thankful so that by Thursday we will be in a habit and it will come naturally.

Supplication is something we do all the time. We all ask God for what we need and what we want and what we think others need and want as well. We do it when we can’t find our keys. We do it when we are looking for a parking place. We do it when we face tragedy and illness and loss. We are good at asking God for his blessing and provision. But we can walk away from prayers limited to Supplication feeling just as harried and frantic as before!

We talked about Peace when we covered the Fruit of the Spirit earlier this Fall. How many of you would like more Peace? Looking ahead to the holiday season, I for one will take all the peace God has to give! In our scripture, we are looking at what Paul says is the key to peace.

Philippians 4:4-8 NAS “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

If we want peace, Thanksgiving and Supplication must walk hand in hand. Separate they are good, together they are great. Thanksgiving puts us in a place to remember what God has done, which reminds us of who he is and his Truth. This is good, but until we take that step to not only thank him for the past but to trust him with our present and future circumstances we will still fall victim to worry.

Supplication represents our faith that God will care for our needs. This is good, but unless we take time to remember how he has provided in the past with thanksgiving, we can be unsure of God’s character and worry can again creep in. By yoking together Thanksgiving and Supplication, we can have complete peace; in fact Paul says we will have peace that goes beyond human comprehension.

This peace comes as a result of our appropriate response to God’s revelation of himself to us; it comes from worship. Thanksgiving is responding to God’s provision. Supplication is taking a step of faith in light of God’s character, Truth and previous action on our behalf.

When we know who God is, when we learn and believe his Truth, when we Thank him for what he has done and Trust him with our needs, we are worshipping. Responding to God’s revelation of himself to us with adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication brings glory and honor to God and fills our lives with peace

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