Purposeful Prayer

The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.

1 Peter 4:7 (NLT)

I’ve found myself praying a lot more lately. It’s not that I think my prayer life was bad before. But, recently, I’ve had a huge resurgence in my life, a conviction, that we need to be praying more often and more purposefully. For example, I was driving to Portland the other night and God would point out different drivers to me. They weren’t necessarily doing anything that would draw my attention, but I would notice them. Then, God would place the thought in my head that I should pray for them – a stranger. So, I found myself praying a lot as I travelled. I didn’t really know what to pray for, but I prayed for the person none-the-less.

The disciple Peter was inspired to write our verse for today over 1,900 years ago. It’s an interesting verse about prayer. The opening gives us the reason (the end of the world), and the closing gives us our part to play. So, what does the end of the world have to do with our prayer life? As it turns out, quite a bit. Prayer has a special way of focusing our mind on God.

 When we pray, our attention isn’t focused on us, our attention is focused on Him. It’s a time of bonding. It’s a time to build our trust. It’s our time to share the light-hearted things, and to open up about the emotional baggage we carry in our lives. Prayer changes the way that we see and understand God. Prayer establishes good lines of communication with God.

So, here we are approaching the very end of time itself. Why would it be important to have a good, strong, trustworthy, bond with God? If things are truly going to get very rough on this planet, especially for Christians, we must have good lines of communication with the One who can lead us through it. And, this doesn’t happen overnight. It comes with practice.

This is why Peter says we must be more “earnest and disciplined in your prayers.” Earnest means that our prayers shouldn’t be fluff. Pray for real stuff, real people, real life. Disciplined means that we don’t try to do the bare minimum, but instead make prayer a regular occurrence – don’t keep putting it off for other pursuits.

Establish those good lines of communication that will allow you to hear God’s voice, no matter what chaos may be swirling around you.

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