“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you…”
1 Peter 1:3-4
Peter begins with a prayer of blessing upon God, The Father. He continues with a word of reminder for His children regarding their inheritance, through The Son. Peter’s intercession for the saints was not an escape route to a prayer retreat. He prayed in pursuit of intimacy with Jesus, and a practical message for believers who were in need of a message of hope. When he received it, He delivered it.
“His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Peter’s life was filled with suffering. His prayer life was a powerful source of comfort to Him. As he prayed, The Risen Christ walked him through many crises on earth. Prayer never lulled him into a false hope that earth was his home. He longed to keep a divine appointment with Jesus, and receive the inheritance reserved for him in Heaven.
Mercy is The Father’s response of compassion to the cry of His children. For His mercy to be known, it must be shown. The Father’s mercy cannot be explained. It must be experienced. The greatest expressions of His compassion, and strength of character come in the chaos of crashing waves, not calm seas.
The Father relieves the distress of His children when they call out to Him to do what only He can do, and give Him the glory for it. Those who take credit for His mercy or think they deserve it, soon find themselves in rough water again.
Seasoned prayer warriors seamlessly converse with The Father in Heaven, and His children on earth. This may very well be the greatest sign of an effective, and authentic intercessory prayer life.
My father, Don Miller, is 92 years of age, and has been a man of prayer as long as I can remember. At this stage of his life, he often begins in prayer, and merges from his conversation with The Father into a conversation with me. It is the most amazing experience. At first this felt a bit disconcerting, but now I am able to see the absolute appropriateness of it.
Peter experienced intercessory prayer as the ultimate bridge between The Father’s love and His mercy for His children. No wonder Dad has defined prayer as endless intimacy with The Father.
“Prayer is the intimate communication between The Heavenly Father and His child.” Don Miller
Mercy is your only hope. It is The Father’s response to humble prayer, not prideful self-pity or seething resentment. Suffering often leads His children to resentment over what is happening to them. There is real danger in yielding to the false hope of self-pity. There is no lasting contentment that comes in feeling sorry for yourself. It is like trying to quench your thirst with salt water.
NOTE TO SELF: Don’t become filled with self-pity in the midst of a crisis. Pity, filled with self, will never call out for the compassion of The Father to end the crisis. Seething resentment and prideful self-pity over suffering will only lead you to blame The Father for what is happening to you. Neither one of them will ever make sense out of it. When you admit to yourself that you are in need of The Father’s mercy for what you have done, you will call out to Him for the mercy that only He can provide. You are only a breath away from mercy. You need it. So does your nation. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!