Proclaiming the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ

The Anti-Prayer of Grumbling

Paul commands the Philippian church in chapter 2:14, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing.” Stated positively this is doing all things with an attitude of thanksgiving and gratitude. Paul lived this out. In fact, the first thing out of Paul’s mouth beginning his Philippian letter is a prayer of thanksgiving. The Holy Spirit prompts Paul to gush with gratitude and gratefulness to God even while he is put away in prison! He writes in 1:3, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all…” Thanksgiving fuels Paul’s prayer for the Philippians.
Truly, thanksgiving and gratitude form the heart of our personal, intimate fellowship with God in prayer. Thankful Christians are Christians who have and will and must really pray. Why is this true? Because we must give thanks, for our souls are overflowing with gratitude to God for who He is and what He has done saving sinners like us. Is this true of you? It isn’t if you are grumbling and filled with self-pity.
How do we pass through from the anti-prayer of grumbling to the prayer of gratitude? Answer? Repent and believe. Not a pat answer. Repent of your grumbling and believe in divine truth that leads to thanksgiving. And where do we find the divine truth? If you’re going to commune with the Lord giving thanks to God in prayer; if you’re going to flush grumbling and gush gratitude towards God because He is for you in Christ, then you must start with the Scriptures; you must go to God’s word first; you must immediately meditate on the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Since the Spirit of God uses the text of the Scripture to produce thanksgiving from the lips – repent of your grumbling, bring the book to bear on your mind and heart, believe its truth and then thank God. The truth from the Word must form the thanksgiving of your lips! The Word leads to worship. The Text leads to thanksgiving. The Good Book leads to gratitude. That is why we always say, pray the Scriptures back to God.
So, start with the Scriptures and thank God for what you find there. Start with the Scriptures for there you gaze upon the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, who is your wisdom, your righteousness, your sanctification, and your redemption. (1 Cor. 1:30) Then you will boast in the Lord, not complain in your circumstances. Then you will really pray – you will pray with Paul, “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Cor. 1:4)

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