This is part four in a four-part series on Prayer and Supplication. For part three, see Prayer and Supplication with Crying. This sermon is on prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.
The words prayer and supplication appear together several times in your Bible. And on a few occasions, we find them coupled with something else that appears to make your prayer more effectual. They are coupled with humility, fasting, crying, and thanksgiving. So, today we are going to preach on Prayer and Supplication with Thanksgiving.
Phil 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God”. Thanksgiving, then, is a very important, and often overlooked, addition to prayer. And it even precedes the Lord’s answer to your prayer.
Whom should we thank?
We should thank God, Phile 4. We don’t “thank heavens”, or thank “the man upstairs”, or “thank our lucky stars”, or “thank goodness”, or any such. We thank God. It is he, and he alone, who hears and answers our prayers. So, give him the thanks due unto his name.
When should we thank God?
While we’re praying, Neh 11:17. Notice that the son of Asaph began “the thanksgiving in prayer”. Thanksgiving should be a part of every prayer. Notice what Paul wrote in Col 4:2, “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving”. So, you offer thanksgiving while you’re praying, even when things look hopeless and terrifying, Dan 6:10. It’s in these difficult times that you see how thanksgiving is a sacrifice of praise, Heb 13:15.
Why should we thank God?
With thanksgiving comes peace, Phil 4:7. When you pray with thanksgiving, the peace of God, which passeth all understanding keeps your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. At this point, you’re not thanking him for the answer to your prayer. He hasn’t answered it yet. You’re thanking him for hearing you, Jn 11:41. You know that he hears you and has heard you. Once you know your request is in his hands, you know things are going to be all right.
For what should we thank God?
For each other and for all men, 1 Thes 1:2; 1 Tim 2:1-3. Certainly, there are many things for which we can and should thank the Lord (too numerous to list here). But there are two groups of people for whom we should always be thankful. These are specifically noted in scripture. And we often, if not always, forget to thank God for these.
We should thank God for each other, 1 Thes 1:2. Paul gave thanks always for the Thessalonians and the other saints in other churches. He was especially thankful for friends like Timothy, 2 Tim 1:3-4. He thanked God and prayed for him night and day. I would guess that we don’t thank God nearly enough for each other. Yet, he is the one who put us together. For this, we should be thankful to God.
We should thank God for all that are in authority, 1 Tim 2:1-3. There is no question that many of us are guilty of disobeying this command. We may very well pray for those who are in authority. But are we thankful for them? Thanking God for them is good and acceptable in the sight of God. And it is part of getting our prayer for a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty answered. Once again, we need to be reminded that thanksgiving is our sacrifice of praise to God, Heb 13:15.
Conclusion: So, when you pray don’t forget to thank God while you’re praying. This will help you have peace, even in troublous times, and help us to live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.