September 5, 2020
Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything.
First Peter 4: 8
Here, Peter offers his people two distinct pieces of advice.
Peter’s first piece of advice is to pray, and to pray constantly. The analogy used in the Message is the contrast between sleeping and being awake. When we are tired, we usually fall asleep. Sometimes it is easier to just escape into sleep. Certainly, there are times when our bodies need the healing strength of sleep to persevere through life. Yet what Peter is saying here is don’t let sleep take over your life, especially in order to avoid prayer. Diligent prayer requires discipline.
Praying is not difficult. Yet regular prayer requires a steady commitment. Here, Peter is telling us that prayer is so important, it needs to be a daily habit. Praying should just like eating, working, relaxing, and other things we do without even thinking. Prayer is not meant to be something we do only as we drift off to sleep.
The scriptures say, “pray without ceasing”. Peter encourages us to make a diligent habit out of prayer. You don’t need to wait until the end of your day, and go over all the prayer requests you have stored up during that day. Peter wants us to be in a constant state of prayerfulness. When we are aware of things that need to be held in prayer, do it, right then.
Secondly, Peter demands that we love others. Now, of course, no one can force someone to love them. But, we always have the choice to love others. Love is so important to Christ that He tells us that we are to love others, as we love ourselves. I pray that we all truly love ourselves. If that is a struggle in your life, please remember that we are formed in God’s image. We are a reflection of the Lord. Hopefully you will realize how much God truly loves you, and that you are His perfect child.
Peter encourages us to love one another as if our life depended on it! In the history of the church, the way in which Christians loved and cared for one another, and for those people whom no one else cared for: that love became their strongest evangelistic tool.
Most people wanted to be involved with those who practice such unconditional, and mind-blowing love. It really is true that love can make up for practically anything. Love is the strongest force in the world. Our faith tells us that love is stronger even than death! So, the next time you feel discouraged, defeated, or depressed, remember that God loves you! Then, go and show others that they, too, are worthy of God’s love, and yours as well. Remember: love makes up for practically anything.
Lord of love,
You remind us through the scriptures of the importance of relationships, and that the foundation of relationships is love. Help us to be prayerful for all the gifts You have given us. May we constantly lift our praises and burdens to You. No matter what we do, we thank You, for You will never stop loving us. Help us to reflect that same love to others. Keep us mindful of our relationship with You, and guide us as we kneel before You. We pray this prayer in the name of Your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.