Monday, May 12, 2014

Be Alert and sober minded for the purpose of PRAYER...

The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. 1 Peter 4:7

This seemed a fitting verse to me, after our study of Joel, culminating in the letters to the churches in Revelation. To us, it may not seem like the end of all things is near. After all, Peter wrote this 2000 years ago, and the end doesn't really seem any closer than it was back then. So perhaps we have another 2000 years to go. I doubt it, but I don't pretend to know the mind of the Lord. Yet whether it seems near to us or not, the end is coming. And the command is clear - keep praying! Clear your mind, Peter says, focus it on the things that matter, and pray. Our prayers increase the kingdom. They keep us oriented. And they heal the church. Let's keep the church in prayer asking God to fill the body with his Spirit and help us to accomplish his purpose. Pray that the church will stand out as separate and different, and that we will glorify our Lord.

Heavenly Father, I thank you for your Word, the Bible. I thank you for the prophets, for their words that point out sin and tell us what you truly desire. I thank you for conviction and correction, so that I can always be reaching toward a holier life. I thank you for the body, and for the way that you give each of us a part to play. I thank you that not one of us is neglected in the gifting. I thank you for prayer, our communication with you. I thank you that you have not abandoned us here on earth; you have not given up on us or forsaken us but have saved us. I ask you to fill the church with your Holy Spirit. Bring your love and conviction into the body. Make the words of the prophets real to us so that we will see our sin, face our unholiness and cling to what is good, bringing glory to your name. Purify our hearts and our minds to serve you fully. Amen.

 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:11-13