Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Unified in Prayer

Scripture: 1 Peter 4:7b
therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.

Insights:  Remember the backdrop of every characteristic we are going to look at the remainder of the week is Jesus’ imminent return.  Because Jesus is coming back we ought to be unified in prayer.  Peter gives us two areas in which prayer changes our lives.  To show these dynamics I am going to quote two different men.  One will give us the negative side, in other words, when our judgments and actions are our own; but then I will give the positive side, in other words, when our judgments and actions have been surrendered to Jesus’ Lordship through prayer.  Gregory Frizzell wrote, “In many churches, there is a small minority of members whose hypercritical, judgmental attitudes put everyone else on edge.”  We know these people.  We work with them, go to church with them, and go to little league games with them.  They are always finding fault somewhere.  When we turn to God in prayer, however, our judgments become like Jesus’.  Those judgments, like Wayne Grudem wrote are sound which means, “Having a sound mind, thinking about and evaluating situations maturely and correctly.”  As we pray about something or someone, Jesus transforms our thinking to be like His and our judgments are then sound and not hot tempered.  If our temper is short, then we are not sober of spirit.  In fact, we display to the world these characteristics Gregory Frizzell mentioned when he wrote, “No believer should ever excuse a short fuse or say ‘that’s just my personality.’  Yet the truth is, these people often tend to take a secret pride in the fact others treat them with kid gloves or are somewhat intimidated by their bluster.”  People with short tempers often are explosive in their reactions to situations and they act before they have time to think or pray.  Some of these people wear this character flaw as a badge of honor.  Wayne Grudem, however, gives us the proper understanding of sober spirit when he wrote, “Sober Spirit means not only physical drunkenness is forbidden but also the letting of the mind to wander into any other kind of mental intoxication or addiction which inhibits spiritual alertness, or any laziness of mind which lulls Christians into sin through carelessness.”  Here is how it all comes together: because Jesus’ return is near, we pray.  As we pray our judgments on circumstances of life changes and because they change we react differently.  Our judgments become sound and our spirit sober because of prayer.

  1. Do you look on the world with the eyes of Jesus?
  2. Do you display the fruit of the Spirit known as self-control?                              
Prayer: Lord, forgive me when I take on the role of judge and jury and lose control of my words and actions.  Transform me as I speak with You in prayer to have Your judgments and Your actions.  Be glorified in my life Lord.  Amen.  

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