FDD33 Pursue a Clear Head

This entry is part of 27 in the series Fifty Days of Desperation

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.” (1 Peter 4:7, ESV)

Prayer is hard.  That writes and reads like the understatement of the century for many Christians.  Sometimes it is because we have prayer all wrong.  We treat it like a duty on par with taking out the garbage (take all your junk to God and you’ll feel better).  But prayer is much more about living and breathing in a real relationship with God.  But it remains hard because it is “Other” than our flesh.  We are used to living by sight and responding to feelings; but prayer pushes beyond the seen to the unseen, forces us to trust in God who we cannot see and not in our flesh, and like most relationships it is the conversation and time spent together that builds the relationship. Loving anyone is a byproduct of spending time with them.  Husbands and wives: invest time in one another and your love will grow.  We love and cherish those we spend time with.  Time with God in prayer (both listening and speaking) is no different.  Our affection for the Father grows as we spend time with Him.

Peter reminds us then what is needed for our prayers to flourish.  First: be self-controlled.  Prayer takes discipline for those reasons already mentioned and many more – not least of which in our hurried world because of time.  It takes time to spend time with God.  And it takes effort to overcome the selfish desires of our flesh to pray.

Second: be sober-minded.  Think clearly.  Be honest about the state of reality.  Many of the things we undertake each day will not last, but time spent loving God is never wasted.  Think clearly about our pursuits, think clearly about what we do. Think clearly about your relationship with the Sovereign God of the Universe.

Be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.

Too often we struggle to control our urges to do something else.  Too often we substitute activity for trust and devotion.  To often we let the hurry and burden of this temporary world steal our attention from the eternal.  Help us in our weakness to fulfill the greatest commandment to love you.  Help us today to find self-control as we follow your Holy Spirit.  Focus our minds on you and give us strength to pull away from the evil distractions.  Do not let even the good become an enemy of the great in our lives.  Teach us to pray.

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