Thursday, January 19, 2012

Prayer: 1 Peter 4:7

“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers” (1 Peter 4:7 NKJV).

The end is coming. We don’t know how much time Planet Earth has left. I bet it is weary of all the destruction it has seen. Yet, it has also seen God’s redemptive hand. The Savior walked on its dirt, calmed its seas, healed its people, and rose from one of its graves to give us new life. As long as God exists, we have hope. Since our time on Earth is limited, a sense of urgency calls us to share the truth we know and the love we’ve been given.

That’s why Peter says, “Be serious and watchful in your prayers” (NKJV). That makes me think of a sentry. As a sentry keeps watch on the walls of his city, keep watch in your prayers. Be aware of what’s going on around you. Know what’s happening in the world, and recognize the signs of the times. Also be on guard against the enemy and his schemes. Lift each other up in prayer, and ask for God’s help and grace.

Keep watch as diligently as a sentry does. A sentry’s job is to keep a sharp eye and spot any enemies approaching the city that he has been appointed to protect. If he loses focus or interest, it could be costly for those who live inside the walls. Prayer is a sure defense against the enemy. When we “see” that Satan is closing in, ready to shoot his arrows at us or harass us in some way, we can pray to our God who sees all and has all power. In prayer, we stand guard not only over our own hearts, but we can keep watch on behalf of others. When we know that something is troubling someone we care about, we can take that need or problem to God, and He will hear us. Psalm 55:22 promises us that God will sustain us when we turn to Him for help: “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved” (NKJV).

We don’t know for sure when Jesus is coming back. Only the Father knows (Matt 24:36). But before the end comes, let’s pray all that we can and beseech God to move in this generation—to save souls, to heal hearts, to strengthen families, and to enable His church around the world to share the truth while we still have time. The end is coming. Let’s be ready!

More verses on prayer: John 14:14; Matthew 6:5-6; Matthew 6:9-13; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; James 5:16b

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