The Purpose II

“The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.” 1 Peter 4:7 NASB

When I was a boy, the comic strips of New York City would characterize a religious fanatic with the caricature of a sandaled, bearded man in sackcloth and ashes. He would be depicted standing on the street corner, holding up a sign with a message written with bold letters, “THE END IS NEAR!” All around him people would be scurrying down the street, while ignoring his warning. It all looked so hopeless, even to a child.

Peter’s final word on “all things” was a challenge to the early church to stay focused on the “purpose of prayer.” In the King James Version this same passage is translated “watch unto prayer.”  There is no greater purpose in life than to watch and pray.

The purpose of prayer is to watch what The Father will do to prove Himself faithful to His children in the middle of their crisis.  Prayer turns a child’s eyes away from the crisis, focuses them on the face of The Father, and points them towards others.

No matter how dark the storm clouds may be, it is always too early for a child of God to panic. It is never too late for them to pray. Looking into The Father’s face, prayer restores a child’s “sound judgment and sober spirit” when the headline hysteria and uncontrollable circumstances of life tempt them to run into the streets screaming, “All is lost.”

Weathering the storms of life has always included a great deal of waiting, worrying, wishing, whining and watching. When Peter saw the storm clouds gathering he called his people to watch and pray. Two thousand years later his words are as appropriate for the contemporary church, as they were prophetic for the ancient church.

Prayer transforms self-absorbed, stressed out children, obsessed with their own survival and self-worth into self-less servants seeking the best for those around them.  Through prayer, The Father releases His Spirit into His children to love for one another, to be hospitable to one another, and to serve one another. (See 1 Peter 4:8-10)

“So that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4: 11

The focus of prayer is on the face of The Father. The purpose of prayer is to glorify Him. Praying in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ brings a child of God into his right mind, and under the authority and jurisdiction of Jesus.

Prayerless children are prideful and rebellious children who try to bring “all things” under their sphere of influence rather than yielding them in prayer to The Lord, Jesus Christ. No wonder prayerless children become restless people. The restless fail to find R.E.S.T.* because they fail to pray. *Release Every Single Thing.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Jesus – Matthew 11:28

“Revival is falling in love with Jesus all over again.” Vance Havner

NOTE TO SELF: You will find R.E.S.T. when you Release Every Single Thing to The Father in prayer, in the name of Jesus. Every “thing” is not a trial, a test, or a trauma. Some “things” bring triumph, while other “things” bring tears. Make each “thing” a matter of prayer, no matter what you are going through. Prayer is the fastest way to get a grip on your right mind. When you sober up, you come to the end of your self. When you pray, you lean into the Y.O.K.E. of Jesus. It involves Yielding to Him, Obeying Him, Keeping Close to Him, and Enjoying Him. Don’t panic or look surprised at a crisis.  As a result of it, your prayers will turn your eyes upon Jesus and your steps towards others, for the honor and glory of The Father. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!