• Christ Church, Willesborough

Sunday after Ascension Family Worship Service (29 May 2022) 1 Peter 4:7

https://youtu.be/4nsozubdqtw


The topic for today’s devotion is ‘Watch and Pray’ and is taken from our Epistle reading for today 1 Peter 4:7: “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober and watch unto prayer”.


God is expecting us to watch and pray. When Jesus was preaching, he said in Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”. Why should we watch and pray? Why is God expecting us to watch and pray? Does it have any difference between praying and watching and praying? I want to meditate this title under three points:

1. Why do we need to watch and pray?

2. What is prayer? and

3. What is God’s expectation regarding prayer?


Why do we need to watch and pray?

Matthew 24:42 says, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come”. Jesus clearly told us in Matthew 24:36 that no one except Almighty Father knows the day or time of His second coming. It is not revealed even to angels. We are in the end days. We are waiting for the second coming of Jesus. Jesus is coming soon to judge this world. He will be sitting on the white throne to judge everyone. Nobody can escape from His judgement. God is the one who created earth and all the things in this world. He created humans in his own image. Then what is the need of judgement? Let us go back to Genesis. When God created man and woman, he didn’t create them with sin. He created the man in His own image and gave his breath to live. The fallen angel, Lucifer, tempted Eve to sin against God. The first sin was disobeying God. Why did the serpent cheat Eve and make her fall into sin? The Bible clearly says that sins separates us from God’s presence. It leads to spiritual death. Devil knows the truth very well. God created angels before Adam and Eve to always praise and worship Him. Lucifer was the prime Archangel with special talents of singing. He sinned against God, lost his first estate and became Anti-Christ. Lucifer thought that God created humans to replace angels and wanted to take revenge on God. As He cannot do anything against God, he is tempting humans and making us to fall into sin to separate us from God’s presence. The first sin of Adam and Eve is passing through every generation. In Psalm 51:5 King David, the first genetical engineer, said, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me”. According to 1 Peter 5:8 we need to watch and pray because, “your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We need to watch and pray to resist the temptation from the devil and not to fall into sin. It is very important to watch and pray to receive God’s strength and protection to fight against devil.


1 John 4:1 says, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world”. False prophets are one of the signs of the end days. Devil is using false prophets to spread false teachings among the churches. He is diluting the Gospel and pulling people towards Anti-Christianism. We need to watch and pray to receive the gift of discerning of sprits from God. Finally, we need to pray to receive strength from God to overcome temptations.


What is Prayer?

Prayer is the communication between man and God. We can talk to God like talking to our parents, family members and friends. He is our Almighty father, so we can talk to him like talking to our earthly father. But it is very important to have a two-way communication in our everyday prayer. Most of the time we are talking to God but are not ready to listen to him or not allowing him to talk. We only give our supplications like a grocery list and ask God to fulfil our requests. Are we really waiting upon God and listening to His guidance? If we are having an one-way communication, it is not a proper prayer. Are our prayers answered? If not, why our prayers not being answered? What does the Bible say about prayers?


First, our prayers should please God. When we read 1 Kings chapter 3, King Solomon gave burnt offerings to God. God appeared to him and asked what he wanted. He was the king for United Israel. He had his own choice to ask anything from God. He had choice to ask long life, wealth or other blessings. But he asked wisdom to rule God’s chosen people. His request or his plead was pleasing God. God gave King Solomon what he asked and gave the blessings he didn’t even ask.


Second, according to 1 Kings 3:10, our prayers should be pleasing God. John 14:13 says, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son”. So, our prayers should be in the name of Jesus to the glory of the Father.


Third, James 1:6 says, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed”. We should have FAITH in our prayer. We have heard the common expansion for FAITH, which is Forsaking All I Trust Him.


It is important to analyse our prayers. James 4:3 says, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts”. So, our prayer should be according to God’s will and not ours. We do not have to give a list in our prayers, because Matthew 6:8 says, “Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him”.


What is God’s expectation regarding prayer?

God’s expectation regarding prayer is revealed in the Lord’s Prayer. It is a well-known passage to everyone. Jesus taught His disciples how to pray in Matthew chapter 6 verses from 9 to 13. We can divide the Lord’s prayer in three parts. The first part is praise and worship and committing to God’s will. At the same time, it reflects and reminds us about the second coming of Jesus. The second part of the prayer is about our petitions or our pleads. The third part of the prayer is about the relationship with other fellow humans. Finally, we need to commit everything in his hand.


The Lord’s Prayer can be compared with the Cross. The Cross has two stems, one vertical and one horizontal. The vertical stem represents the relationship between us and God. The horizontal stem represents our relationship with fellow humans. The Cross encourages us to have a proper relationship with God and also maintain a good relationship with other humans.


From today, our prayers should be pleasing to God. We should yearn to fulfill God’s will in our lives rather than give God instructions. Our prayer must be organised as our Saviour taught us through the Lord’s prayer. Most importantly, we should watch and pray as Jesus expects us. Only then we can be equipped to stand against the devil and resist temptation. In these last days, let us Watch and Pray and be ready to meet our Saviour. Amen!

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