Prayer’s Surpassing Peace (Pt. 1)

Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:1-9, ESV

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The text for this morning Philippians chapter four. Well before we go to the Lord, hear from his word Let’s ask his blessing upon and let’s pray together once more. Lord our Heavenly Father, we come before you humbled. We praise you for this your word we thank you that you have left us not to grope around in darkness but this you’ve given us a sure word, or that you have condescended to speak to us to listen to us, as it were as children. We think that we can know what you’ve given us to know. pray, Lord, that we continue to humble ourselves before this word, Lord, and we asked in that in it, we would find your will and your ways and then we would humble ourselves and that you would place that will in our hearts that we may love you in new ways, place in our in our minds that we would think rightly, or do we place it in our hearts that we would love Lord according to your ways. Father, we do pray that you would open our eyes and our hearts now that we might accept this word by faith as we hear it. That may change our lives in our hearts that we be transformed into the image, evermore of our Savior Jesus Christ. It’s in his name that we pray. In all God’s people said, Amen.

Philippians chapter four, I’ll be reading the first nine verses of chapter four, which means four verses one to nine. The focus of the text will be verses four to seven. And we’ll see how far we can get. But for now, give your full attention please. Philippians four, beginning ensure beginning chapter one.

Therefore my brothers, whom I love, and I long for my joy and my crown, Stanford, us in the Lord My beloved entreat God and I entreat cynic Ducky to agree in the Lord. Yes, I asked you also a true companions help these women have labored side by side with me in the Gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be made known to everyone. The Lord is at hand. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable. If there is any excellence, if there’s any were anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What do you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

So far, the reading of God’s Word may indeed add his blessing to it.

In this world, you will have troubles promised Jesus, in the Gospel of john. And in the church, there are troubles. In the life of believers, there are troubles. One of my beloved professors in seminary would say that the church deals with rejection, with resistance with recession, and relationships. And these cause anxiety, and worry and fear and sorrow. And this is true we know when lives are given to Jesus. When Jesus invades lives. There is rejection that person very often Very frequently from family members from co workers, from friends and even in the social and civil realm, there is rejection. When a person’s allegiances for Christ, they face resistance as well. Sometimes bodily harm or imprisonment. Different places in the country in a world comes from commitment and a stand taken for Christ. Other times this resistance is seen in more subtle ways like intimidation or attempting to dismiss believers or silence them. recession certainly reality for believers who hold fast to their sincerely held Christian beliefs in a world that has so erected a worldview that is diametrically opposed to the biblical religion. finances are an ever present cause of worry and anxiety in life, particularly in cultures that increasingly vilify and look down upon those holding to a gun. Word clearly teaches them about morality, about family, about marriage about human sexuality. Believers are marginalized and pushed aside and looked down upon. The normalization of perversion and attempted demonization of God’s way, has a profound impact on Christian churches and on Christian people. And then relationships are certainly potential worrisome anxiety causing endeavors, sleepless nights fear, fear of losing or lost relationships, pride rather than humility, unity, jeopardized by misunderstanding or simply refusing to face conflicts in relationships and to reconcile in the way God commanded and the way it was commanded by Jesus himself. And in all of these things, I’m really speaking of our culture. or society or churches may have noticed this. But these are the exact things going on in Philippi, about which Paul is seeking to remedy. Paul’s trying to give the remedy to the anxiety caused by these troubles that caused anxiety to that church. And as you can readily notice, as I listed them, these are all problems that we face even today, especially today, in our lives and society in churches. The Christians that Philip II had plenty to worry about, and so do we. And what antidote to anxiety has the Lord Prescott prescribed for our troubled hearts. What antidote do we have for the Philippians and two for us in Fort Wayne here today? We’re going to look at this morning, and possibly next week as well. What is the Lord’s prescription for anxiety and worry and fear And we’ll see as we look at this passage, that Paul first gives us a plea, a plea in verses four to six, a plea and then number seven, he gives us the provision. And then finally, in verse eight, he gives us a promise, please the provision in a promise.

Christians at Philippi had many things to worry about. Many things about which to worry. They face threats to their peace and progress, both internally and externally. Externally, from the outside, there were adversaries who were intimidating. And this aggression was overwhelming and challenge their courage to stand united in the Gospel that they accepted as Paul preached it to them and establish that church. At the time remember Paul, their spiritual father, where it was he was locked up in Rome, waiting the verdict of that Emperor, life or death. And then within the church, there were these, there were those who are overly obsessed with their own issues and their own agenda, which jeopardize the church’s unity of mind and of affection, mind and heart towards one another. In chapter one Philippians, Paul addresses suffering and the threat that that suffering poses to our joy and peace.

And he says this, in Philippians one starting in verse 27, about this threat of suffering to joy and peace is, “only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ. So whether I come and see you or I’m absent, I may hear that you are standing firm in one spirits, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction. But if your salvation and that from God for it has been granted to you For the sake of Christ, he should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake. This doesn’t jive Well, with the health and well teaching, it’s been granted to you in Christ to suffer for his sake, even as you believe in him. He goes on engage in the same conflict that you saw I had and now here that I still have.

Alright, so Paul lays down on the chapter one, suffering can threaten our joy and peace, suffering can threaten our joy and peace. And then Paul also spoke with the problem of selfishness and self obsession. from within, he says there’s a this is a sinister and subtle effect that it has on the unity of the church.

He References This the beginning of chapter two, starting in verse one, he says so if there’s any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the spirits and affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love being in full accord, and of one mind, do nothing from rivalry or conceit. But in humility, count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interest, but also to the interest of others.

And then Paul goes on, as you know that this glorious, this glorious hymn to Christ is God, the Carmen Christie, it’s been called the hymn to Christ as God explained that Christ was the greatest demonstration of this very thing, the divine second person of the Trinity, humbling himself. And for both of these problems, those outside right the aggression, challenging of unity, the inside selfishness threatening the Unity degrading that unity. apostles prescription for them both to believers was to return their focus to Jesus himself, cast their eyes upon Christ. And Paul demonstrated this from his own example. We’re gonna have time to examine and discuss all of what the letter to the Philippians is doing. At some point we will, Lord willing do that. But right now we can begin to see the structure of his argument and what he is doing. In this letter.

Verse four, Paul calls them to courage and humility. Again, he begins this chapter four, says, Therefore my brothers whom I love, and I long for my joy and my crown. Stand firm ethos in the Lord might be love, it

calls them to stand firm in the Lord, not in their own strength, not in their own issues, but to stand firm in the Lord.

And the urges these two prominent members of the church to seek reconciliation in the Lord again in verse two, I can treat Yoda and Cintiq each Agree in the Lord says help these women. And then in our passage in verse four Paul continues with this is wrapping up with this kind of to do list that comes before his closing benediction. It’s kind of a to do list. Right? He says, rejoice. Be gentle. Don’t worry, pray think good thoughts do good deeds. And this is Paul’s common practice. In his letters, he closes by giving much advice, or giving men much instruction just before that closing benediction.

We might think as we read this, that Paul is just giving this disconnected advice or imperatives without much unity to anything else disconnected. This is not the case. These directives are connected by more than merely Paul’s affection for them. For these instructions are actually it’s precisely what we’re looking at this morning. God’s antidote for the anxiety that so often disorients and disrupts in discourages our joy and deprives us of peace. Prescription given here, this prescription gives the remedy to the stresses that we have, from the pain and suffering from the outside, and the from the stresses and friction from within the church as well. Let me see that there are two radically different ways of dealing with these stresses of life. Two radically opposed ways one is hardwired from our birth, our nature, our flesh in our hearts, and the other is supernaturally supernatural and only comes from a new heart and an outlook produced by the gracious working of God himself in the hearts of those who have been given new life.

The first of these outlooks of these ways is grounded in our desire to control all the things of our life through our own grits and diligence and work. But the problem is when this way of dealing with life collides, there’s a collision between the brutal reality that are really very few things in our life that are within our control. But there are so many things in life that lie beyond our control. This way offers very little bit more stress, more frustration, and infuriation and more anxiety and fear and worry and dread way of man our way. It’s not the remedy. It’s not the remedy and we all know that any of us who have been dedicated for years who particular job and then let go due to downsizing, we know this. Anyone who’s been loyal for decades to a particular group, and then been betrayed and treated as an enemy. not have that loyalty reciprocated. We know this is the case. You know that your hard work and fierce determination does not make you the master of your destiny and fate says the old Home, anyone who has been ill, and their care has gone from treatment of the disease to management of pain. It was gone through that are known anyone who’s gone through that knows that this is not the case.

But God’s word offers an entirely different approach to the troubles that causes anxiety. The word his word offers a powerful antidote that is all together deeper than our circumstances or situations of life, deeper than our marshaling of our own emotions and self attitude or positive methods of stress management. The anchor that Paul offers secures our well being eternally in the life and love of our gracious loving Heavenly Father. And he offers he encourages us to joy Paul offers to us here and encourages us in the joy that he has found in life to Find by Christ, His cross and his resurrection power.

From that flows calmness and gentleness in prayer with thanksgiving and reflective imitation of Christ like character. The Spirit works in our hearts to shape us into massage s and to grow us. And then listen to this. The consequences of that is what the consequence is protection from anxiety through the peace of God, through the deliver to our troubled hearts, through the loving presence of the God of peace. Right, listen to that, again, the consequence of what the Lord does his way his work in your hearts, is protection from anxiety through the peace of God delivered to our troubled hearts, through the loving presence of God, the peace and the peace of God from the God of peace.

And so let’s look now as we begin to look into this passage how Paul gets there by looking first at the plea, the plea verses four to six. He says rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say rejoice. Let your reasonableness or gentleness or gentle spirit Fanhouse to translate it. Let it be made known to everyone The Lord is at hand. Do not be anxious about anything. but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

So Paul repeats himself here, right in the text, inspire text, Rejoice in the Lord always I say again, rejoice, even and always in the sufferings that we go through. Did Paul know much about suffering? You better believe he did. And we’re gonna look for a moment we’re gonna go to second Corinthians chapter 12. And we’re going to look for a moment at Paul Something of what he knew about suffering this, the apostle this one who went from Saul, the great to Paul the small. Again, I’m feeling a little bit weak and my voice is weak. So please bear with me thank you for doing so. I’m thankful for these speakers.

Now we were to have in Paul’s letter, especially in Second Corinthians, there are themes that run throughout comfort, affliction, and suffering. These run throughout the letter. These are not foreign to Paul, nor the New Testament, nor nor to the Christian life. Second Corinthians notice how he begins chapter one, verse three, the second half of our three says,

the God of all comfort, comforts us all in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort others in any affliction with that same comfort. The numbers five four, we share abundantly in Christ suffering So that through Christ, we share abundantly and comfort also.

Again, there’s this glorious promises connection between comfort and suffering, suffering and comfort. For what reason to share this the comfort of Christ with others. And this is part of Paul’s opening statement to the Corinthians. It says hello in this hello this greeting he gives a foreshadowing foreshadowing of what we he will unfold with he’ll interact with throughout this letter. Can’t get into all of what’s going on in Second Corinthians that’s coming later, possibly next year. But Paul is dealing with false teachers and their attacks upon him. They’re slander and tearing him down the persecution of Paul. They’re belittling and dismissiveness of Paul. Right? They’re strong. Paul is weak. They don’t suffer Paul radically suffered and therefore what? They’re blessed. Paul’s curse

If the Corinthians are enamored with false teachers because of credentials, and because of their strength, then Paul says he too will boast in his credentials to show the foolishness of the false teachers. That’s what he does. It’s kind of like the proverb from the Proverbs, you know, Paul hasn’t answered the fool according to his folly. And he hasn’t done so from First Corinthians one, all the way to second Corinthians 11. And then he does, this is exactly what he’s doing here. And he shows their foolishness, their foolishness, and he shows that if anyone had reason to boast, Paul did, it was Paul. Yeah, he boasted in things that demonstrated his weakness, because then the power of the gospel, and Christ Himself shines forth. So we have a kind of mini autobiography in Second Corinthians 11. And he asked this question verses 29 and 37. Things 11 he says who is weak, aren’t I? And if I must boast, I’ll boast of the things showing my weakness. He says, If anyone I have a place to boast about myself, and Paul lays it out for them, right? He says, I have knowledge. I’m the Hebrew I’m the Israel I I’m of Abraham seed. And all those things you might look at from the, you know, certain vantage point, those are expected those are things that one would boast in. But Paul goes on. Those first handful things might impress many. Paul goes on he says, I’m a servant, the doulos a slave Christ. I am the one who has labored much been in prison more been beat almost to death countless times, five times whipped 3939 lashes, three times beaten with rods one time stone, three times, shipwrecks adrift at sea and on journeys. I’m in danger from rivers and robbers my own people from Gentiles. In the city in the wilderness at sea from false brothers in toil and hardship, through many sleepless nights in hunger and thirst, without food, in cold exposure, and also the daily pressures, from anxiety from all the churches. These are my credentials. These are my commitments. These are my qualifications, Paul says. But it’s that which shows my weakness in which I will boast. This is me weak. This is how I want you to see me pause and complaining. He’s not whining, nor is he bragging. It’s becomes clear again, verses 29 to 30. Paul made the point about the unwilling he’s making a point about the unwillingness of the false teachers to identify with the scandal of the cross. false teachers who call Paul weak, can never endure the things that he has. In fact, his weakness is a result of his calling from Christ. To preach the gospel. More importantly, these false apostles preach and teach a false gospel as they do, precisely to avoid the kind of suffering and persecution that Paul has endured. They want nothing to do with that. They want it to be relevant. They didn’t want to offend anyone because their

goal is popularity. That’s their goal. There’s only one reason why Paul endures all of this is because he’s been called to endure his sufferings by Jesus Christ and call to do so. suffering and persecution comes with the Apostolic office. says if anyone has a place to boast, it’s me. He goes on. He says, I’ve been shown extraordinary things. I have been privy to visions and revelations of God. Chapter 12 verse four, he says he heard things which cannot be uttered, which cannot be told. Yeah, what As he boasts of his weakness, his weakness, Paul of all people committed to his Lord, and He of all people has the qualifications to boast seven himself, but he will not. And so he speaks of himself in the third person. I know a man. He says, What’s he doing there? He’s trying to distance himself from that he speaks in the third person. And he tells us that to keep him humble, to keep him from the very boast that very boasting, he was given a thorn in the flesh, thorn in the flesh. Again, there’s much opinion regarding what this thorn in the flesh was more than we could ever get into right now or spend a month looking at it for sure this has come down in our common vernacular as a phrase for it’s a thorn in our flesh. Mothers say that their children are a thorn in my flesh. My boss is a thorn in my flesh. Whatever this was, right, it wasn’t a trivial matter. For Paul, it wasn’t just a throwaway comment. It troubled Paul greatly. He suffered much from what it was. And whatever it was, it was an ever present reminder to Paul. And that is for us a reminder as well. We need to be careful when we look at these things, right? There’s not a complete analogy one to one here, we’re not Paul, we’re not the apostle. It’s still we need to keep humble. Right? We are balanced to boast in many, many things in our flesh by our nature, to boast and to brag. Whether it’s your strength, or intellect, or our money, or our looks, or our service, our good deeds, our law, keeping our theology, whatever pet issues that we have. These are all things that we can do and they were all a way to make a way for us to looking down on others and boasting in ourselves. So that’s something of the Apostle Paul. His qualifications is suffering. This one who wrote two thirds of the New Testament, he’s afflicted in this way, this thorn in his side. And so three times in Second Corinthians 12, chapter eight, he pled with the Lord, take it away. Take it away. Take it away, Lord. Verse nine, what did the Lord tell Paul in response? said Paul, my grace, sufficient for you. My grace is sufficient for you, Paul, for you. My grace is sufficient for my power is made perfect in your weakness. Paul and Paul’s response. This corrected and protected and reminded apostle his response, the self proclaimed proclaimed divine appointed weakling says what? His response comes in the second half of chapter two verse nine, he responds to the lawyer to the Lord’s word to him with this says, Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness. Why? Why does he say that? So that the power of Christ may rest upon me, the rest upon me. And that word that’s translated there rest upon me. It’s translated differently. Depending on what English Version of the Bible you have the word means to abide power, Christ may abide upon me take a take up residence, upon me, reside come to dwell to dwell within to dwell in me. As in that 10 of old, remember there’s a there’s a linguistic connection here that Paul is making. Right? Remember the 10th of all the tabernacle in the wilderness is the show Kind of glory descended in Phil and dwelt the tabernacle and the temple. Gods dwelling with his people, the greatest blessing of God being with his people. This is the word he uses. And this is the imagery that should come to mind, the chakaipa glory of God, filling the temple,

dwelling abiding taking up residence in that temple in such an amazing and glorious, overpowering way. And this is also that exact where the read about every year at Christmas time and john chapter one verse 14, right the Word became flesh. And here it is made his dwelling amongst us tabernacle amongst us. It’s the same word. Emmanuel, God with us. It’s the same word we see we saw earlier in Second Corinthians chapter six, verse 16. The Lord is with us right where we are the temple of the living God. I will make my dwelling among them. And walk among them. Paul quotes the Old Testament there. Is that not glorious? It’s glorious. That great promise throughout all the Scripture, and we see it consummated and completed and fulfilled. In Revelation 21 verse three, it’s that same word again used, says, I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Behold, the dwelling place, the tabernacle of God is with man and he will dwell tabernacle with them, and they will be his people and God himself will be with them as their god. What greater reason and ground for rejoicing is there than that? being made the dwelling place of the power of Christ, where he reveals His glory.

And so going back to second Corinthians chapter 12, verse 11, says, For the sake of Christ, then I am content In my weaknesses in my insults in my in hardships and persecution and calamities, for when I am weak, then I am strong. When I’m weak, then I am strong.

He is strong in Christ in his weaknesses. The sinner saved by Christ, rescued from certain inappropriate punishments from judgment, from the bondage of sin and self righteousness from the his pretended control of his own life from the delusion of keeping the law. This center of whom Christ calls out and gives life is contented with the strength and power of his Savior. And after all, what is greater than that? Christ alone is the powerful one alone, not Moses, not David, not Peter, not Paul has been shown visions and revelations and certainly not your eye. The truth of the matter is we are weak. We are broken people, not merely physically but spiritually. But yet our great God. And Father condescends to us to give us his word and it gives us reminders, physical reminders in the supper of a spiritual reality until weaklings like us the power of Christ calls, he calls, it corrects, and it carries us along the way. He calls and he also commands that we be weak. And so for his sake, we be content in that weakness. For when you’re weak, the power of Christ can shine through and be manifest in and despite your weaknesses, because he is not weak, is not weak, is all together, all mighty and powerful. And we think for a moment about sufferings in our Christian life. Again, in a future sermon, we’ll look more in detail at this There’s glorious material to mind from God’s word regarding our suffering. But as you’ve seen already this morning, a number of times it’s been appointed to us to suffer. It’s been appointed to us to suffer. But I’ll say just this for now. For those of you in pain and suffering, and those of you seeking deliverance, what is his word to you? What does he say to us? says My love is enough for you. It’s enough. My love secures and applies all other goods in his favor his life. His loving kindness is better than life itself, even the best life. It says love enough for you. Instead of enough for you is his favorite your life or does it all just bring on a yawning difference? I pray that it is not. Because all of what you go through must be filtered through a knowledge of his love for you. You will be in despair. Can you with Paul say I will glory in my infirmities rather than seek deliverance of a glory in them all rejoice in suffering.

As you read earlier in this letter, Lord sought to use the foolishness and weakness of his creation, people, weak and foolish to deliver his message of salvation by treasures, in Jars of Clay, and so it is with his answer to Paul. It is in weakness and that Christ power is made perfect and shines like the noonday sun. The reminder the suffering the thorn in the flesh, it is a pointer to the important thing And the important thing is Jesus Christ, that his grace is sufficient for you to and for me to is sufficient, and that in your weakness, his power is made perfect. What a glorious promise. This is the word of God to you brothers and sisters, his precious children. Cry says, My grace is sufficient for you, for all of you. Have you gotten to the place in your life, to rejoice and glory in suffering? to really do so. Not just say it, but believe it and live it. I know it’s hard. Not an easy thing to do. So hard, in our own strength isn’t possible. In all of our pain and sorrow, it’s hard to say even if we know it, but we must We must, we must pray for the truth to fill us with joy and delight and to live it for His glory. And he will grant that good. It’s good for us. It is glory for him his power in our weakness. And this is the message he calls for. He has for all who will come to him and find his sufficient grace. What a glorious gracious King and Redeemer we have because outside of him, there is no consolation. There is no comfort. There is no reason for your suffering, there’s no hope for outside of Christ. This is all that we have this pathetic, withering world in which we suffer. And beyond this world, even worse, outside of Christ, suffering is a pointer and a reminder, that eternal suffering of that is Eternal suffering that surely awaits all those apart from Christ. This one who suffered ultimately so that those who entrust themselves upon him would enjoy the blessing of an eternity, with no pain, with no suffering with no tears with no mourning. In Him there is abundant joy and life. Brothers and sisters, you must know this and meditate upon this and believe it and trust it. In Him there is abounding life and joy. It is in Him alone that there is boasting in his power. what he’s done for the very worst of us. This is the weaklings power, the powerful Christ.

Well, we’ll return to Philippians our text next week and these issues outside and inside that bring us anxiety and worry. But for now, as we closed your Christian, may we seek our contentment And the only one that can supply it and stop seeking it and everything else. Because they are shallow and they are empty, and they do not bring contentment or joy or life or delight. Maybe we seek it in Christ alone. Maybe we have eyes to see and ears that are in hearts that are corrected and protected by these very things that bring us focus and perspective. Even our sufferings we’ve been given the most important, the best news of all time in history. Treasure immeasurable, yes, in jars of weak clay like you and I. Christ is calm, to bring salvation, to rescue, hope to return a life to all those that wouldn’t trust themselves upon him. And those who do are given a new heart and a home in Heaven with Him forever. This is the message of Scripture is the gospel and even if In this life, they begin to live lives of radically those who have accepted this truth and trusted themselves upon Christ for their life. They begin to live lives of gratitude for this magnificent, massive and glorious gift that they’ve been given lives that move in the direction of God’s design. however small it may seem to us, he is moving us, he is moving you He is changing and he is growing you. He will continue to do so.

Even to glory, so let us rejoice. I say again, rejoice always. Because in Christ we have it all. Confidence, boldness, assurance, joy, rejoicing in suffering. Oh How can it be, not by any earthly or physical means only by His Spirit working in and through us. And that is reason to rejoice and reason to repeat the gospel to a dead and dying world in such need of glorious life, giving news We always overcome fear and anxiety and worry with the wonderful truth of the gospel. It is for us in ours to offer the world that is so anxious and terrified, pretending it’s not. May we continue to praise our wonderful and beautiful King and Redeemer Jesus Christ, always in forever. Amen. Let’s pray.

Our Heavenly Father, we praise you, for your work in our lives for your love and giving your son that we would have life eternal before you in the boldness to enter into your presence. By virtue of our Savior, Lord, we pray help us to maintain faith and trust in your Providence in your sovereign working in this world and in the society. Or give us the grace to love those who hate to embrace in love those With whom we disagree. Help us, Lord, to show the love of Jesus to the worst offenders. Give us hearts that believe you when you say that vengeance is yours. And then we are to bless and to help and to love and to pray for those in need. protect us from the world, flashing the devil. There, Lord, we pray. You give a strength for this week. Even in our weakness, even in our pain, either suffering, give a strength until we can come again and be refreshed and reminded again of your love. Yes, it’s all in Christ’s name. Amen.