Scripture: 1 Peter 4:7-11. Focus on verse 7
7The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Peter is living with an expectation that “the end” is close.
For that reason: be self-controlled and sober minded
For the sake of your prayers.
Peter is aware of how desperately followers of Jesus require conversation with God. I recently read that men are particularly prayer-challenged because they do not put their imagination to great use. I’m not so sure of that. But you know, having a conversation with God does require the intuitive, imaginative side of me. I trust that Someone is listening.
Peter knew what it was to physically walk with Jesus and to have conversations about life and the Kingdom of God. Now after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus he knows what it is to have a conversation with God that is empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Any conversation becomes difficult when we lack self-control and when our mind is running fast with the desire to fulfill or deal with the consequences of our passions. Prayer is a conversation that requires us to be still and listen. I don’t mean you have to be sitting down for this conversation. I mean that you have to get below the noise in our mind. To talk with God is to have a conversation about real life: all the issues we are happy, sad, angry or afraid of. I think sober-mindedness means that we are adjusting our expectations about life and God. The Gospel lets us look forward to the end of all of suffering and pain when we are with Him in heaven. So now our hope is that a measure of the Kingdom of God will come as we pray:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. AMEN.