This is the audio from the September 29, 2019 sermon, “Praying For the BEST!”, shared by Tom Lemler at the Deer Run Church of Christ.
Text: Philippians 1:9-11
Here are the main points from the sermon:
When it comes to praying for the best, ask God to give you His:
- Psalms 103:2-5, Romans 6:22 — While our culture has gradually changed the concept of employee benefits to being something that is earned or deserved, it hasn’t always been this way. For many generations, the “benefit package” was something a company gave to benefit their employees in ways that were above and beyond what they earned. I believe it is in that former context that we pray for, and receive, the best benefits a person could ever obtain. These benefits are completely unearned and belong to all who come into relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. When we pray for the best benefits, we find that God is generous in supplying so much more than we could think or imagine because what He supplies will last for eternity.
- Ephesians 6:10-13, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 — At least in my life, and I suspect the same is true for many of you, much has been accomplished with whatever tools happened to be available when the work needed done. What I’ve learned over the years, as better tools became available to me, is that using the best equipment generally yields a result that is far superior to most of my “make do” efforts. As we live the Christian life, God has offered to equip us with the absolute best tools possible if we would only go to Him in prayer. In fact, prayer itself is at the top of the list of the best equipment we can have in living a life of victory over the temptations of the evil one. When we pray for the best equipment, God clothes us with His armor so that on the day of evil we may stand.
- Isaiah 55:8-9, Psalms 119:1 — Growing up in a culture that has taught us that we not only can have it our way, but we deserve it our way, makes it difficult to accept that our way isn’t the best way. Growing up on a farm I learned that it was possible to accomplish just about anything given enough time and determination. Looking back I realize there were many things accomplished that took much more time and effort than they would have had to simply because I didn’t know the best way to do them. Too often we settle for mediocrity, or worse, because we insist our ways and plans are somehow superior to anything else. We will only experience the best when we realize and accept that God’s ways are so much better in every aspect than ours. When we pray for the best strategy, we must begin from a position of listening with a blank slate rather than asking God to bless a strategy we have come up with either on our own or through observing others.
- 1 John 5:9-12, John 4:39-42 — How people respond to what you say has a lot to do with how they perceive the authenticity of your testimony. I suspect we have all received unsolicited advice throughout our life that we simply ignored because there was no evidence that the advice being given had in any way benefited the person giving it. Our prayers for the best testimony begin to be answered when we accept the testimony of God about His Son, Jesus. It is then through living out an authentic relationship with Jesus that we find our testimony about His working in our life is a powerful tool in helping others even have a desire to know Him. When we pray for the best testimony God doesn’t make it more dramatic, He simply shows us how even the small details of our life have a purpose when we use them to share with others how we are a witness of God’s love and power.
Praying for the best will mean we truly want the best. When we pray for the Benefits, Equipment, Strategy, and Testimony that only God can give, we discover He has answered our prayer and filled us with the very best He has — His Son.