“The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.” 1 Peter 4:7
I’m passionate about prayer, including leading retreats called “Adventures in Prayer.” Why? Because prayer opens up a divine conversation, and wonderfully, the Lord loves to meet us. The ways he reveals himself delight, like the time I was in a listening-prayer group with people I didn’t know, and one of them had a picture for me of roller skates. Sounds odd, but I immediately understood what the image meant – the roller skates symbolized the public speaking I was soon embarking on. Although I felt fear and trepidation when strapping on the skates (standing at the podium), once I got rolling, I’d feel the wind whip through my hair in exhilaration. I knew I was to trust God, including giving up my word-for-word scripts. That picture ushered in a new joy and freedom in my speaking.
Sometimes prayer is freeing and joyous, like that clear image, but sometimes we are sober of mind. Here Peter alerts us that the end is near, so we should be alert and pray. We might have before us heavy matters: a friend experiencing a crushing loss; a son facing depression and difficulty; a family member holding a grudge against us. As we take these issues to God, asking for his grace and mercy, he will bring us hope, relief and signs of joy.
Father God, I give you my concerns and delights. I know you hear me, and that you love me. Amen.