Be on the Alert!

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With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints…    Ephesians 6:18

Alert, with all perseverance and petition… does this describe your posture when it comes to prayer? Being alert – literally, to stay awake, attentive, ready. Prayer too often becomes an act of last resort. Paul asserts that prayer is of first and continual resort. We are to remain attentive and ready with our prayers.

Persevere – with continued effort despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. If you have been a person of prayer for very long you know the seasons of difficulties, seeming failure, and opposition – pray any way.

Petition: keep asking God. There is the P.U.S.H. acronym re prayer: Pray Until Something Happens. Something – the consequence or outcome of our praying is in God’s hands. Yet we pray not for what we may get but that we indeed get God as we pray.

I spent four days last month hunting elk. I hunted until something happened. The ‘something’ was not an elk this time, but it was four glorious days and nights – all kinds of weather, all kinds of terrain – hiking, exploring, enjoying the beauty of God’s creation with one of my best friends. The conversations and times of prayer throughout the day and each evening warming up and drying out at the wood-burning stove are precious and priceless ‘somethings’ that I would not trade for anything. If I had not been alert – I would have missed this and thought the hunt was all about getting an elk. If we had not persevered we would have cut our trip short. If we had not spent time in prayer we would have left God out of the journey.

We are in a season of this world and of our nation where we must remain alert, persevere, and pray. Apart from being alert we will misread what is really going on – we will vilify people and justify labeling them as enemies or fools, rather than loving them. If we do not persevere with keeping our eyes fixed on the kingdom of God, we will believe we are not only in this world but of it, rather than being ambassadors of heaven. If we do not bring our petitions to God, we will settle for protesting on facebook or other forms of arm-chair critique from our palaces of self-importance, rather than being generous with the grace of God.

We can easily forget that our struggle as believers is not against flesh and blood. We are citizens of heaven we have God’s mighty armor given to us for the purpose – the powerful and most profound purpose – of being alert, persevering, and petitioning the Lord of lords and the King of kings to gain His perspective, His purpose, and His power which will overcome the world forces of this darkness, the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Finally be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.            

Pastor Jon