TEXT: 1 Thessalonians 5:19-24
19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
— PRAYER —
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 347 messages in this series.
This is message #348 titled, Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks, Repeat, Part 13.
Adam Clarke said, “Do not suppose that ye have no need of continual instruction; without it ye cannot preserve in the Christian life, nor go on to perfection. God will ever send a message of salvation by each of his ministers to every faithful, attentive hearer.”
In our last message, we looked at the importance of not quenching the Holy Spirit in our Christian life as a whole, and in our prayer life in particular. Today, we will continue looking at this series of concise yet significant statements near the end of Paul’s letter to the church at Thessalonica. In verse 20, we have the command to “despise not prophesyings.”
Regarding this command, Warren Wiersbe said: “Today, we have a completed revelation in the Word of God and there is no need for prophets. The apostles and prophets helped lay the foundation of the church and have now passed from the scene. The only ‘prophetic ministry’ we have is in the preaching and teaching of the Word of God.” The Greek word translated as “prophesyings” means: “a discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden.”
In light of that context, it is important that we who are in the church are careful not to despise the preaching of God’s word for two reasons as it pertains to our prayer life.
FIRST, WE OUGHT NOT TO DESPISE ‘PROPHESYINGS’ BECAUSE IT MAY BE GOD’S WAY OF ANSWERING OUR PRAYERS. How often have we heard it said, “Prayer is you talking to God, and the Bible is God talking to you”? Well, all true preaching, all true prophecy is based on God’s Holy Word, the Bible. If what a preacher or “prophet” is saying does not line up with the Word of God, then you should not listen to it. But, God has a way of delivering to those who stand in His pulpits a special word to speak directly to your heart. I am not talking about something you WANT to hear like the name-and-claim foolishness that we see so much of in prosperity gospel/health-and-wealth churches today. I am talking about something that you NEED to hear directly from God’s Word. More often than not, when God is speaking to you in His House, it will be a word of conviction rather than a word of comfort. A true prophecy is more likely to cause you to cry than it will cause you to celebrate. And, you would do best not to despise that word because it may very well be the answer to the prayers you have been praying. However, God had to deliver it through His preacher or prophet because you are too blind to see it on your own.
SECOND, WE OUGHT NOT TO DESPISE ‘PROPHESYINGS’ BECAUSE IF WE TAKE HEED TO GOD’S WORD, OUR PRAYERS FOR BLESSING ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE ANSWERED. I have dealt with prophesyings as it relates to a person specifically. However, prophesyings also relate to the church body in general. And one way the church despises prophesyings is by viewing them with contempt. That is what the Greek word translated as ‘despise’ means. It means to look at something with contempt or low esteem. When we sit under the preaching of God’s Word, we must ask ourselves if we really value the message that is being delivered. Too often, we sit in church doing what Joseph Exell terms “careless listening” in his commentary. Exell said we “attend the preaching but with improper disposition. Part of our time is spent in drowsiness or trifling inattention, observing our neighbours instead of the preacher. Hence when we come home we can tell more of what passed in the seats than in the pulpit. Others are not contented with plain truths; they have ‘itching ears’; and though they ‘heap to themselves teachers,’ running from one church to another, they get but little good.”
Why aren’t your prayers being answered? Why aren’t you getting what you think you want from God? It may be because you have been despising prophesyings and the preaching of God’s Word. God does not engage in transactional relationship, but, the fact is: if you listened to and took heed to Scripture and the preaching of the Word of God, you are more likely to be blessed by God in response to your prayers.
So, despise not prophesyings. Don’t neglect the preaching of God’s Word in His church or the true delivery of a prophetic message from God to you. God may be trying to answer your prayers.
Ephraim of Edessa wrote:
Receive, O Lord, in Heaven above
Our prayers and supplications pure;
Give us a heart all full of love
And steady courage to endure.
Thy holy name our mouths confess,
Our tongues are harps to praise Thy grace;
Forgive our sins and wickedness,
Who in this vigil seek Thy face.
Let not our song become a sigh,
A wail of anguish and despair;
In lovingkindness, Lord most high,
Receive tonight our evening prayer.
O raise us in that day, that we
May sing, where all Thy saints adore,
Praise to Thy Father, and to Thee,
And to Thy Spirit, evermore.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.