October 21, 2018
Praying for life, Praying toward vision Part 1.5

Praying for life, Praying toward vision Part 1.5 (Philippians 4:4-8)
Grammar definition: “The middle voice is that use of the verb which describes the subjects as participating in the results of the action.”
• In the middle voice I actively participate in the results of an action that another initiates.
o Peterson adds: “Two wills operate, neither to the exclusion of the other, neither canceling out the other, each respecting the other.”
Rewording of Mark 1:35: Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he cooperated and participated with what the Father was initiating.
Philippians 4:6 The verb to not be anxious here is in the active from.
• Which means it is not something that is simply happening to us.
• The active voice means I initiate the action, of being anxious in this case.
• Why would Paul say this? Because anxiousness becomes a barrier to our prayer.
o Being anxious amounts to putting faith and trust in something other than the Lord.
o There is nothing anxious in the Lord, He can have no anxious thought.
• Both the active voice and the passive voice are self-focused.
o But the middle voice is God focused, it was initiated by Him.
• Praying in the middle voice helps me to walk out the command to not be anxious
Continuing in verse 6 Paul goes on to give us another command and an antidote to anxiousness.
• To pray with thanksgiving.
o Keep in mind Paul is writing this letter while in prison.
• Rejoicing, or worship aligns our hearts to the Father, to Jesus.
• Thanksgiving agrees with what He has done, that He and all He does is good.
o These two, rejoicing and giving thanks, are the antidote to being anxious.
Praying toward vision: God is never focused on circumstances no matter how difficult.
• He is always focused on what Christ did on the cross
Phil 1:12 From prison Paul can see the vision of what God is doing.
Phil 3:7 Paul sees the vision of what it is to join Christ in this level of sacrifice.
Phil 4:12 He has learned to become content. This is also what it is to live from a place of vision.
• Praying in the middle voice is not the only way to pray, but it’ a beautiful third option between active and passive think and praying.
Verse 8 Praying in the middle voice can at times be as simple as where we put our focus.
• Rather than focus on the circumstances, or on self, focus on these things.
o As you look closer at each of these, they are in fact Jesus.
• When I put my focus on Jesus, and not the circumstances, I begin to see His vision.