Message Notes and Questions Sept
Praying with Paul
Wk 7 “The Joy of Stress”
How Can We Make the Best of Stress?
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
- Stress Can Be a Learning Experience
“A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.”
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,
- Stress Can Be a Growing Experience
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
As a follower of Jesus, we do not really have a choice. We need to use stress to grow. To grow in knowledge, to grow in wisdom, and faith. And just when you think you can’t handle it, remember Paul’s words to this very church in Philippi…
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
- Stress Can Be a Fruitful Experience
filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
1 LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
2 The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
3 whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;
4 who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the LORD;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
5 who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.
Righteousness shines brightest in times of stress, in the small, minor, day to day things we do and say.
12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.
Small Group/Discussion Questions
Wk 7 Praying with Paul
“The Joy of Stress”
- Read Philippians 1: (1-11), de we typically put others first in our prayers? Should we? Why or why not?
- What are some ways can start to lose their focus on Jesus? What can happen at that point?
- Read 2 Corinthians 11: (25-29), if you put yourself in Paul’s shoes what would you be praying for? What do you think kept Paul going? Do you find that same motivation works in your life? Why or why not?
- How can we make the best out of a stressful life? What are some good and some not so good things that stress reveals?
- If stress teaches us what true love really is, what are some of the ways it does it?
- How do others see Christians? Is it a fair judgment?
- Read Matthew 7: (24-27), what are ways we build our spiritual house on the Rock and not on sand?
- What should the focus of our prayers be? Why do we often pray without that focus?
- As this series comes to an end, talk about something you learned over the past 7 weeks as we studied the prayers of Paul.