Recovering Stolen Peace

Overcoming Anxiety Through the Power of Prayer

Bryan Vander Tuig
Dec 10, 2023    39m
Do you feel overwhelmed by anxiety and worry in your life? Are you desperately seeking peace but can't seem to find it? This sermon addresses how to overcome anxiety through the power of prayer. Learn what the Bible teaches about combatting fear and anxiety by giving it to God in prayer with thanksgiving. You'll be encouraged to cast your anxiety on Him and walk in the true peace that only comes from Christ. Tune in to recover stolen peace and joy this season. Video recorded at Upland, California.

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Terry O'Brien: [00:00:19] Good morning church family. My name is Terry O’Brien, and it is my privilege to read today's scripture. It's Philippians 4, verses 6 and 7, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." This is the Word of God.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:01:00] Good morning, good morning, good morning. It's good to be here with you this morning. I don't know who it was, but somebody when we responded, thanks be to God, somebody responded with vigor, and it was awesome. Thanks be to God, right? My name is Brian Vander Tuig, my wife and I are a part of Life Bible Fellowship, and we've been here for about seven years or so. We love being a part of this body of Christ, and occasionally I have the privilege of preaching on Sunday mornings. And I love God's Word. Do you love God's Word? Yes. Right, because God's Word is life, right?

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:01:42] Well, this morning we want to recover some of that life, and this morning we're focusing on peace. We're in the season of Advent, and Pastor Dan talked about it earlier in the service, but we celebrate these gifts that God has given to us through Jesus Christ, and we celebrate them at Advent, we celebrate hope in Christ, we celebrate peace in Christ, we celebrate joy in Christ, and love in Christ, right? But in this series, we're talking about how culture, and the world, and the enemy, want to steal those gifts from us. And so this morning, we're going to talk about recovering the stolen gift of peace. And during this Christmas season, we sing about peace, we read about peace, and some of the scripture readers from early on, they were reading from some texts that talk about peace. And some of them are very well known. Isaiah 9 verse 6, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. And then Luke 2 verse 14, they also read, the angels are glorifying God in the heavens to the shepherds because the Messiah has been born and they say, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Right?

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:03:20] But the peace of the scriptures is different than the peace that the world defines. And I think it's important for us to have an understanding of what are we talking about when we're talking about biblical peace. For the world, peace is the absence of conflict, right? If no wars or no conflict were going on, they would say, we're in a season of peace. But biblical peace is more than just the absence of conflict, it's a positive experience about the wholeness and the completeness of God that only comes from God. It's not something that we can manufacture, it's not something that the world gives to us. It is a gift from God, and it really gives us a sense of wholeness and completeness in him and with him. And so we want that peace, right? How many of you, if I were to ask you to raise your hands, kind of an early poll, how many of you would say that you want or need more peace in your life? Well, a good number of us, right? Especially at this time of year with Christmas.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:04:31] Well, there are things in our world that steal that peace, and it gets replaced with worry and it gets replaced with anxiety. Let me give you some of those peace stealers, right? As adults, we get anxious about finances, especially at this time of the year, Christmas, and we're thinking that we got to buy more gifts and we got to decorate, we got to get the tree. And my wife and I got our tree last week, and the prices of Christmas trees have been affected by inflation, our eyes about popped outside of our heads, right? We're like, man, where are we going to come up with this money? Finances give us anxiety. At this time of the year, we're in full swing for next year's election, so politics give us anxiety. And is my political party going to be in office next year and in control? And if not, I worry about my country. We worry about work. Our work gives us anxiety. We have an important meeting tomorrow and we wake up in the middle of the night. We get anxious about our kids. Are they okay? Are they making good decisions? Do they have good friends? Do they know the Lord? Those are some of the things that as adults, we get anxious about, right?

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:05:47] Maybe you're here this morning and you're a teenager. It was just a few years ago that I was a teenager. That's not that funny, right? But you guys have some things that bring anxiety into your lives, that steal your peace too, right? Maybe it's a big test tomorrow. Maybe it's struggling with relationships or friendships or a boyfriend or a girlfriend. And maybe it's anxiety about grades, we know in today's world, the competition to get into a good college is difficult and challenging. Maybe you have a big game coming up or a big match or a big debate, whatever it is, and the anxiety is stealing your peace. Maybe you're anxious about your future. What will you do in your career? Who will you marry? What college will you go to, right? These are things that create anxiety within us, and they steal the peace that God intends for us.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:06:50] Well, I have good news for us this morning. And the good news is that no matter where we are at with anxiety, and we'll kind of delve into that a little bit, but the good news is that the Bible says we can recover that lost peace. And so this morning we're going on a recovery mission. Last week we were on a recovery mission for Hope. This morning we're on a recovery mission to recover the peace that has been stolen from us.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:07:19] And then the text this morning that was read for us from Philippians 4 verses 6 and 7, the apostle Paul points us to two ways that we can recover our peace. And the first is through a practice, and that practice is prayer. So that's the first thing that we'll talk about. And the second is he points us to a person, and that person is Jesus Christ.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:07:44] So first let's talk about recovering our peace through the practice of prayer. So if you have your Bibles, open them to Philippians chapter 4, verses 6 and 7. Paul starts out in verse six with a command, and it's a serious command. He says, "Do not be anxious about anything." How many of you have anxiety just from hearing that command, right? Do not be anxious about anything because anxiety is a peace stealer. Now let's talk about anxiety for a minute. There is nothing scientific about what I am going to talk to you about, it's only from my study as I was preparing this message, but I've kind of categorized anxiety into three different levels. Okay?

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:08:35] The first level we'll call level one anxiety. It is something I believe that almost all of us experience at different times in our lives. It is the times when we have important meetings coming up, or we have an important conversation that we need to have with something, it's an important test that you have to take in high school or college, and it results in our palms getting sweaty and clammy, and our heart races a little bit, our hearts begin to beat faster, we get that pit in our stomach. How many of you have experienced that at one time in your life, right? Most of us. That is a feeling of anxiety that almost all of us experience, and that we really have very little control over. Okay? So that's kind of level one anxiety.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:09:25] Level two anxiety is a deeper level of anxiety, and some of you wrestle with this level of anxiety. This level of anxiety may cause you to engage in some unhealthy behaviors in your life as you try to cope with this. And so you may avoid responsibilities because of fear for how it might go, so you just avoid them. You may be unable to experience joy in your life because you're so worried about what might happen, so there's no possibility for joy. Or maybe you have a short fuse with somebody because you're so tense about the future. Or maybe you self-medicate with alcohol, or marijuana, or relationships, or you fill in the blank because you're trying to reduce your anxiety. That's a deeper level of anxiety than level one, but many of us struggle with that level, right?

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:10:28] Level three is even more deep than that, level three is maybe a diagnosis of anxiety, and to treat that you are seeking medical or therapeutic interventions. There are different levels of anxiety, and I would imagine at some level, all of us find ourselves at different times somewhere on that spectrum. The good news for all of us this morning, the good news of the scriptures, is that we can experience the peace of Jesus Christ, no matter where we are at on that spectrum. So wherever you’re this morning, my prayer is that when you leave here, you know that you can recover your stolen peace. Okay.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:11:19] So let's look at what the text tells us about anxiety. And Paul starts off, and he says, "Do not be anxious about anything." The word, anxious, in the Greek, can be translated as worry or anxious. And in the scriptures, we kind of see two types of worry or two types of anxiety. And the first one I'll describe as responsible concern. It's not the anxiety that steals our peace, it's responsible concern, and there are a couple of verses that Paul gives us in his writings that help us to understand that. The first one comes from chapter 2 in this same letter of Philippians verse 28, Paul says, "Therefore I am all the more eager to send him..." He's talking about a man named Epaphroditus, " that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. That's what Paul says. Let me give you the context, Epaphroditus was a man who was from the community or the city of Philippi. He was sent by the church in Philippi to Rome, where Paul was imprisoned, and he was there to serve Paul, and to help Paul, and to minister to Paul. But while he was there, Epaphroditus got very sick, and he almost died. And so at some point, Paul was like, I need to get him back to Philippi, I need to get him back to you, and when he gets to you, I will feel better, I'll have less anxiety, and it will be a benefit for you. So it's this kind of responsible concern that Paul has for Epaphroditus to get him back to where he needs to be. The second example comes from Second Corinthians 11 verse 28, Paul says, "Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches." It's this sense of responsible concern that Paul had for the churches that he planted, and he pastored. It's not the peace-stealing kind of worry or anxiety or concern, it's a responsible concern. So the Bible does talk about that.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:13:29] But the second type of worry or anxiety is the one that most of us are thinking about, and the type that we struggle with, that steals our peace. It's a worry that is misdirected, and it oftentimes reflects a lack of trust in God. Jesus dealt with this topic, it's not just Paul, Jesus dealt with this idea of anxiety or worry in his sermon on the Mount. We as a church spent a significant amount of time in the sermon on the Mount, it's from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6. And in that section of Scripture where Jesus is teaching, he addresses this idea of worry or anxiety six times in a matter of like nine verses, nine or ten verses. Listen to what Jesus says, he says, "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink." He goes on and says, "Which of you by worrying, can add a single hour to your life?" Amen? Then he goes on, "Why do you worry about clothes?" He says, so do not worry, "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." Jesus tackles this issue of worry or anxiety that steals peace because he knew that we would struggle with this. And Jesus, Jesus is saying to his audience, and he says it to us this morning, he says, I don't want you to have anxiety, I don't want you to worry about the basic necessities of life because you have a father who loves you and who knows what you need. And so Jesus goes on and he talks about clothing, and he talks about food. And in Jesus's day, the people had a legitimate worry about food and clothing. In Jesus's day, a famine, a flood, or a fire could wipe out any opportunity that they had for clothing or for food for a significant amount of time. So you can imagine, like, this was a real concern of theirs. And Jesus says you have a father in heaven who knows that you need clothes, as a matter of fact, he feeds the birds of the air and you don't see them storing up their food, do you? And then he says, he clothes the lilies of the field, and they're more beautiful than Solomon in all of his glorious robes, and he was the richest king in Israel's history. And Jesus is saying, your Father knows that you have these basic necessities. So Jesus challenges them and he challenges us today with this truth, if God has given you life and God has given you a body, he will certainly give you food and clothing. And so Jesus calls them to the challenge of daily trusting in God's care for everyday situations. And I believe that that same challenge is for you, and for me, this morning.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:16:49] I have a very close friend who is actually kind of a partner of mine in ministry, we served together in a local church as pastors for a while. He was a pastor in the local church, and different churches for about 25 years, and his name is Tim. And Tim, in those 25 years of pastoral ministry, he received a regular paycheck right from the churches that helped to support him and his family. In 2014, Tim felt that God had put it on his heart quite a while before, but he moved on it in 2014, to leave pastoral ministry and to begin a nonprofit organization. And that nonprofit organization's mission is to bring the love of the Father to spiritual and physical orphans all around the world, that's the mission of his organization. And when he was starting it in 2014, he convened a board of directors that would help to guide this nonprofit organization with him. But what Tim said to his board of directors from the first day was this, we are never going to ask for money or financial support. Now that's crazy, right? In today's world, nonprofit organizations ask for financial support all the time. And at this time of the year, the end of the year in December, they really hit us up, right? Like, hey, this is a great time for you to give, it can be a tax write-off for you, and it helps us in our ministry, right? But Tim said, no, we're never, ever going to do that. And I remember when he launched this ministry and they were going to bring people together just to tell the story of how God was kind of bringing this on his heart, and they were going to have a dinner, and the board of directors was going to try to sneak in some of those little pieces of paper on the table to say, yeah, we'll financially support you. They felt like we need to know, we need to know, are we going to be able to do this? Are people going to jump on board with us? And Tim said, no, we're not going to do that, we're going to trust in God's provision for our needs. Nine years later, this ministry is a thriving ministry, they've never once asked for money, Tim said, we will tell them what God does through us, we will tell them what God does for us, we will share that, but we will never ask for money. If you were to talk with Tim, he would say, is that an easy journey? He would say, no way, it is hard, it's hard because it requires us to daily, daily trust God for his provision.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:19:38] And I believe that's what Jesus is calling us to. And so we have these things in our lives that steal our peace and cause us to unnecessarily worry. And Jesus says, trust that you have a Father who knows your needs. And so when we worry about these peace stealers, things like, hey, not necessarily do our kids know the Lord, those aren't the things we're worrying about, maybe we're worrying about their grades or what college they're going to get into, or do I have enough followers on Instagram, or is my 401 K enough for me to retire and comfort? I am worried about my next promotion, the next-level car, the next-level house, right? Those things can be peace-stealers, and I'm not saying necessarily that they are not at times important in our lives, but we have to keep them in the right perspective and to trust God for them. And so maybe a test question for you this morning is this, if those things were taken from you, how would you respond? Would you have peace? Misdirected worry or anxiety is definitely a piece stealer.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:20:53] But Paul doesn't leave us there, thankfully, he goes on and he gives us the antidote for anxiety or the antidote for worry, and the first one is prayer. He says, do not be anxious about anything, but if you like to underline in your Bible, underline that word but, it's a key word in this verse because it redirects us, it redirects us from anxiety to now the antidote for anxiety, and the antidote is prayer. And Paul says, bring your request to God in prayer. And what prayer does is it releases control. What prayer does is it says, God, I'm bringing you the things that are stealing my peace, and I'm coming with open hands because I can't control it, but I know that you are the God who is in control. And so Paul says in everything by prayer and petition, prayer in all things. And we learned in our series on prayer not too long ago that prayer is really about communing with God, it's about this relationship that we have with him. But petition is a form of prayer where we bring our requests to God, request for ourselves, request for others, and request for the world, right?

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:22:16] And Paul says to bring everything, but the scriptures give us a little bit of a warning with that. And it's found in James chapter 4, verses 2 and 3, James writes this, He says, you do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, "You do not have because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." So Paul, on one hand, is saying, bring your request to God in everything by prayer and petition, bring your request to God. But James gives us a little bit of a warning that sometimes our requests can be misdirected, and they can actually maybe feed into our anxiety.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:23:05] The proper understanding, I believe, of the power of prayer, and specifically petitionary prayer is to understand two truths, they have to go hand in hand. And one is that God commands us to come boldly into his presence. Our loving Father wants to hear our needs, he wants to hear the desires of our hearts, and God allows human prayer to affect change in history. And so our prayers matter. We have to understand this truth. Our prayers matter. The second truth goes hand in hand, though, and that's to understand that God is all wise, and God is sovereign, and God's plans are infallible. And so we have to understand both. On one hand, God says, bring me your request, bring me the desires of your heart, but also know that I am sovereign and that I am in control of all things. And you can rest in peace knowing that I have what's best for you. And so when God says no to your petition, or maybe not yet, we can rest in peace knowing that God is still in control, he's on the throne. Amen? And we can have peace knowing that he has good plans for us.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:24:23] And we see this played out in the life of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, right? Right before Jesus goes to the cross, he comes to the Father in petitionary prayer, and he asks the Father, remove this cup from me. Jesus and his humanity doesn't want to go to the cross, he knows what it involves, right? And he says, Father, remove this cup of suffering from me, there's my request, there's the desire of my heart. But not my will, but your will be done. Both of them have to be present, and we have to understand both truths, right? And God had a plan, God had a plan to redeem a lost world to himself.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:25:10] So let me ask you a question, is petition a part of your regular prayer life? Do you bring the things to God that steal your peace? And second, let me ask you this, what is your motive in your petitionary prayers? I think that's a fair question for all of us to check our motives. So he says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition..." And then he says, "...with thanksgiving. With thanksgiving. I think of it like this, I think Thanksgiving has to clothe our prayers of petition. They have to surround our prayers of petition. Thanksgiving keeps our hearts in check, right? We can come to God with our petitions and our requests, but when they're clothed with thanksgiving, it saves us from different pitfalls, and it saves us from the pitfall of ingratitude for what God has done in us and for us. So we bring our requests to God, but they're clothed with a thankfulness, God, here's what the desires of my heart, but man, God, I've just always wanted to be thankful for what you've done in me, to save me, to draw me to yourself. It saves us from ingratitude for what God has done. Second, it saves us from the pitfall of over concern with our own immediate issues. When we come to God with a grateful heart, we can bring our petitions and our issues, but we come with a heart of gratitude, and it saves us from this, maybe over concern about our immediate problems. And then third, it saves us from the pitfall of disregard for the needs of others. A heart of gratitude keeps the focus from being completely on us and our own issues, and it puts it on others. So Paul says, bring your request to God, but clothe them with thanksgiving. So when you find yourself anxious about some piece stealers like finances, future, upcoming tests, lack of friendship, the direction of your children's lives, difficult relationships, whatever it is you fill in the blank. The good news is that the first effect of believing prayer is the enjoyment of God's peace, which he promises to all who turn to him in trust.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:27:49] So we recover our stolen peace through the practice of prayer. That's the first thing that Paul gives to us. The second is we recover stolen peace through a person, and this is found in verse seven. Paul says, "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." He's pointing us to the person of Jesus Christ. And here's the important piece, prayer is the method by which we can regain our lost peace or our stolen peace, but Jesus is the power by which we regain or recover our stolen peace. Prayer is the method, but Jesus is the power. And we sang about it right, he's the one who calms the seas, he's the one who drives out the demons, he's the one who heals the sick. And Christie had some beautiful words for that this morning for us, right? The power is in the person of Jesus. Prayer is the method, but Jesus is the power.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:28:58] And so Paul tells us, he says the peace of God, he tells us where it comes from, it comes from God. It is of God and from God, it cannot be manufactured or given to you by the things of this world, it is from God. And the scriptures also teach us this, and this is important, the peace of God that we so desperately need follows directly from peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Let me say that again, the peace of God follows directly from peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:29:39] We read this, Paul talks about this in another one of his letters, his letter to the Romans, and it's in chapter 5, verse 1. And he says, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." If we were to take a little history tour back through biblical history or redemptive history, we'd go all the way back to the garden, right when God created. And God created Adam and Eve the first humans, and Adam and Eve had perfect peace with God, they had perfect harmony with God and perfect harmony with each other. Everything they needed spiritually, physically, emotionally, God had given to them. But the enemy came in, and the enemy presented a lie to them, right? The enemy said, oh, there's more, there's more if you do this. And God had commanded Adam and Eve, don't eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, right? And the enemy came and said, oh, no, there's more, God is deceiving you, eat from the tree and you can be like God. And Adam and Eve gave in to that temptation, and the result was broken peace. The shalom was gone. And now there's this barrier between God and mankind, and that barrier is sin, no more peace.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:31:11] But the good news of the scriptures is this, God didn't just go, okay, that's it, done. No, as a matter of fact, in that same chapter, God said, okay, I'm going to take care of this, I'm going to put a plan in place, and I'm going to bring you a messiah, I'm going to bring a redeemer, I'm going to bring a deliverer. And the whole Old Testament scriptures point us to the deliverer, Jesus Christ. And early on in the Gospels, we celebrate Christmas, the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, born in a humble manger, right? The promise is fulfilled, God's redemptive plan is in action, and the Messiah comes, and he's born. And that's what we celebrate at Christmas, thank God. And the angels declare, hey, peace is here, peace is here. And the baby grows up to be a man, and he goes to the cross and he dies a cursed death. Why? Because that was God's plan, so that you and I, by faith, can come and say I need the forgiveness of sins. Jesus paid the price for me, he paid the price, which is death. And through him, if I put my faith in him, I can have peace with God. And Paul says, that's the beginning. We can't experience the peace of God until we have peace with God.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:32:30] And so if you're here this morning and you look at your life and you're like, man, I don't have any peace, I've never had peace, all I've experienced in my life is chaos. Maybe it's because you haven't taken that step yet to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, to receive the gift of forgiveness of sins, and to be reconciled in peace to the Father. And later, after the service, there will be prayer partners up here who would love to pray with you, who would love to invite you, and to show you, and to talk with you about what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:33:10] Paul says that peace transcends understanding, all understanding, it cannot be manufactured, it comes from God. How many of you have ever experienced this before? Somebody that you know, or maybe this is your story, you get some type of tragic news, maybe it's a diagnosis, or maybe it's a job loss or something not coming through, whatever it is, and that news should rock your world. But when you talk to that person, they say, man, this should really rock my world, but for some reason, I have this deep, deep sense of peace. How many of you have experienced that or have heard of others? Right, that's the peace that passes all understanding.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:33:48] And Paul could write about it because he experienced it. Paul's writing this, and he's in prison, he's in prison. And yet, if you read through the book of Philippians, you'll see that Paul says, man, I still have joy in my heart because of Christ, I have peace in my heart because of Christ, I can experience true contentment even though I don't have anything, it's been lost, it's been taken from me, but I can still be content because of Christ, right? It surpasses understanding. So you can receive that hard, difficult news, you can encounter that difficulty in your life and still have this peace as a gift from God, because you have peace with God through Jesus Christ.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:34:35] Paul says that peace will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus as well. That word will guard, or that phrase will guard, is a military phrase and it can be really translated better, will keep guard over. So what he's saying is the peace of God through faith in Christ guards our hearts, it protects us, and it protects our minds from the enemy who wants to steal our peace. So I want you to think about it like this, imagine your home is surrounded by multiple units of Navy Seal soldiers, right? Nobody would be able to get past those Navy Seal soldiers to get into your home, right? Because it's so well protected. That's the idea that Paul is talking about here, he's using military terminology to say, that the peace of Christ will guard your heart, the peace of Christ will guard your mind from the things that will steal it, the anxieties and the worries of the world.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:35:41] A number of years ago, Kathy and I and our kids, who were younger at the time, we were actually at church, it was a Sunday. When we came home from church, we quickly realized that our home had been burglarized. Clearly, I didn't have Navy Seals surrounding the house. We walked upstairs, the front door was ajar, we walked upstairs and there was stuff kind of thrown and strewn all over the place, and they had kind of rifled through our stuff. Without a doubt, it took our peace, right? Our home, I don't know about you, but our home for us is our haven of rest, right? That's where we feel the most secure as a family. And so that peace was taken from us by whoever burglarized our home. So we did some things to address it, right? We took some steps to address it. The first step we did was we put in some new deadbolts on some of the doors around our house. The second thing we did was we purchased an alarm system that we still have to this day that would, you know, do some things if somebody tried to do this again. The point is that we had to take a step into it to get that peace back.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:36:54] And I would say the same is true for us this morning, we've talked about all the things that steal our peace, but Paul is saying, you got to take action, you got to make prayer and petitionary prayer and bringing your request to God, bringing the things that cause you anxiety and worry, no matter where you're at on the spectrum, bring them to our Heavenly Father who loves and cares for you. As a matter of fact, Peter writes in First Peter 5 verse 5, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." The second is just to know Christ, to know his love.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:37:29] So I'm going to invite the prayer team to come forward at this time. They will be available to pray with you at the end of the service. At the beginning of the service, I asked you to raise your hand if you felt like you could use more peace in your life, right? Well guess what? Paul says step into it, make petitionary prayer a part of your peace recovery in the name and in the power of Jesus. And so at the end of this service, our prayer partners will be available to pray with you. Maybe you're filled with anxiety, maybe you're filled with worry, maybe you haven't experienced true peace, they will be available to pray with you.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:38:08] Before we do that though, I want to close our service in prayer, and I want to read a prayer that Paul wrote to a different church. He wrote it to the church in Ephesus, and it comes from the book of Ephesians, chapter 3, verses 14 through 21. And so just maybe hold out your hands like this and receive this as a prayer over you this morning.

Bryan Vander Tuig: [00:38:31] Let's pray, "For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!" And all God's people said, Amen. God bless you. Have a great Sunday. Take advantage of our prayer partners up here.

Recorded in Upland, California.
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