Jesus Christ said, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer.”

Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks, Repeat, Part 2 (Praying Through the Bible #337)


Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Rejoice evermore.

17 Pray without ceasing.

18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

— 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 336 messages in this series.

This is message #337 titled, Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks, Repeat, Part 2.

James Burton Coffman said, “These brief, hammer-blow admonitions carry the full authority of apostolic power and have been greatly honored and appreciated in all generations since they appeared. Barclay spoke of them as ‘a chain of jewels of good advice.’ Moffatt declared that, ‘To comment adequately upon these diamond drops would be to outline a history of the Christian experience in its highest levels.’ Here, chiseled into the granite face of history, are these mighty virtues of the ‘new man’ in Christ Jesus, without whom the world would never have survived as long as it has.”

In our last message, we looked at the definition of attitudes and how this passage addresses them. Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy Zuck said, “These exhortations—dealing with attitudes—are addressed to believers as individuals concerning their personal lives before God. God wants His people to be joyful and He gives them every reason to be. But Paul knew human nature well enough to sense the need for a reminder to rejoice at all times.”

Only verse 17 of our passage today deals specifically with prayer. It is the command to “pray without ceasing.” Jesus Christ gave a parable to this end “Men ought always to pray and not to faint.” However, we are looking at verses 16 and 18 as well because these verses emphasize a theme that has been reoccuring in Paul’s epistles to the churches. In fact, in both of our last two mini-series on prayer from the letter to the Colossians, Paul emphasized rejoicing and thanksgiving almost as much as he emphasized prayer. In Colossians 1, Paul talked about how he and his ministry companions not only prayed for the young believers, but gave thanks to God for them. He also encouraged the believers to live with rejoicing.

So, rejoicing, prayer, and giving thanks go hand-in-hand. Prayer is not just for us to get from God, but for us to give thanks to God and to rejoice and celebrate with other believers over the good things that God has done. The Greek word translated as “rejoice” means: to be glad, to rejoice exceedingly, to be well or to thrive. In Scripture, the same word is also translated as “hail!,” a positive salutation or greeting. The King James dictionary says the word rejoice means: “
To experience joy and gladness in a high degree; to be exhilarated with lively and pleasurable sensations; to exult.

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. Prov. 29.

I will rejoice in thy salvation. Ps. 9.

To make joyful; to gladden; to animate with lively pleasurable sensations; to exhilarate.

Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father. Prov. 29.

Now, it is easy for many of us to rejoice at certain times — when things are going well, when the money is high and the bills are low, when family ties are not strained, when your workload is not too heavy. But, the Bible commands us to “rejoice evermore.”

The Greek word translated as “evermore” literally means “every when,” or “at all times or whenever.” Almost thirty times in Scripture, this word is translated as “always.” Every Christian ought to strive to rejoice always, in all things, and at all times. It is not easy to do so. That is why, in Philippians, Paul writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” The truth of the matter is that you cannot rejoice always in anything or anyone in this world. Good things will not always happen to you. You will meet with people of very displeasing dispositions.

As you may have heard recently, lifestyle influencer, Marie Kondo, who has written four bestselling books on decluttering your life, has a new television series on Netflix promoting her organization principles. She has boiled down her entire philosophy of “tidying up” to this question: Does this thing spark joy? If this thing does not spark joy, throw it out. Friends, if we took that principle to most of the material things, people, and experiences in our lives — if we judged everything and everyone based on whether or not it or they spark joy — we would probably throw out over 70% of our possessions and cut ties with 70% of the people we know, family included. That is why you cannot look to things or people as a basis for your rejoicing. If you do that, you will eventually get to the point where you are rejoicing nevermore instead of evermore. But, Jesus is always good and not only sparks joy but gives joy, and when you look to Him as the source of your joy, you should and can “rejoice evermore.”

Charles Wesley wrote:

Rejoice, the Lord is king
Your Lord and king adore;
Mortals give thanks and sing,
and triumph evermore;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Jesus, the Savior, reigns,
the God of truth and love;
When He had purged our stains
He took His seat above;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

His kingdom cannot fail,
He rules o’er earth and Heav’n,
The keys of death and hell
are to our Jesus giv’n;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Rejoice in glorious hope!
Jesus the Judge shall come,
And take His servants up
to their eternal home.
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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.