RAP SHEET 11/27/22
Sermon: Meta Thanksgiving
Scripture: Philippians 4:6-7
Thanksgiving ICE BREAKER: Do you like cranberry sauce? If so, what other absolutely disgusting things do you also like?
This week, we got honest about how much anxiety there is in the world and often in our own lives. The holiday season increases anxiety and worries for many people due to the stress of family, expectations, disappointments, financial hardship, and so much more!
Share when you have felt high levels of worry in your life.
Is there anything making you anxious today?
To help us alleviate worry and find peace, we looked at Paul's instructions to the church in Philippi. Towards the end of the letter, he encourages the church:
"Don't worry about anything..."
This echoes the words of Jesus in His sermon on the mount. "Don't worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear..." Instead of worrying, Jesus encourages us to "Seek first the Kingdom of God."
These concepts are beautiful, but as we all know - they are also challenging to apply. Our first problem is we don't understand worry.
WORRY IS OVER-ESTIMATING
YOUR CONTROL OF THE FUTURE
This is rooted in pride that gives us FAR too much credit for being able to fix the future. Worry weighs heavily on us because we are not designed to hold it! This is why Peter tells us to "Cast all your anxiety on [God], for He cares for you."
Back in Paul's letter to the Philippians, he lays out a template for how we approach God and find the peace we are seeking:
6 Don't worry about anything, but in everything
and THROUGH petition
present your requests to God.
Paul gives us a 3 step process, each as a prepositional phrase: Through Prayer, Through Petition, and With Thanksgiving.
Prayer is simply CONNECTING with God. If we do not regularly commune with God through the Holy Spirit inside us, we are choosing to burden ourselves with the worry and anxiety that rightly belongs to God.
Petition is how we CAST our worries onto God. This is the act of letting God know every single thing that is burdening our hearts. Nothing is too small for God - he is concerned with it ALL!
The last prepositional phrase is WITH THANKSGIVING. In Greek, "with" is the word META! Paul literally says, "Meta Thanksgiving!" As cool as that is, it gets better! Thanksgiving is the word from which we get our word, "Eucharist," another word for the Lord's Supper or Communion. This means, throughout ALL of our prayers and petition we should constantly be giving God CREDIT for who He is, How he loves us, and What he has done in our life!
This simple template is a guide to praying powerful, worry defeating prayers! Scripture gives us a promise if we apply this to our life consistently:
6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
What is ONE WAY you can begin to Connect more often with God?
What are SOME THINGS you are holding onto that you need to Cast onto God?
What would it look like for you to approach God WITH THANKSGIVING and give Him the Credit that is due?
Practice praying through the Philippians 4:6 template. Lead with thanksgiving and then Cast your cares and burdens upon him. Remember, the Holy Spirit is in the life of every believer and is desperate to see you unburdened and fully able to Seek God's Kingdom!