The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. (1 Peter 4:7)
“The world might end today.”
“Let us all bow for a word of prayer.”
The end of all things is near, so what do you think is the first thing God wants us to be doing? Who said pray? Did anyone say pray? Peter said pray. Aren’t you a little surprised? I wouldn’t have thought of it right off the bat. I might not have even thought of it a little further down the road. Pray. It’s just such a basic thing — something we’re always supposed to be doing. “Pray without ceasing,” said Paul. So why would prayer be so important on this side of the last days?
First, these are bound to be turbulent times. Not a good time to be caught napping. Peter wants us sober and alert so we can be praying, and so that we can be ready for whatever God might want us to do. Prayer puts us in a frame of mind that is appropriate to these last days. Prayer makes us ready.
If you are praying, you are also listening, and that, too, is an important part of prayer. It makes us attentive to God. We can speculate a lot about the end times but we will not know for sure what’s really happening and who’s who unless the Lord reveals it to us. There’s bound to be a lot of people, even Christians, led astray by the times. Things will not always be as they appear to be. You will want to be in constant communication with God.
Not to mention that God wants us in prayer because this will be a time of great spiritual warfare and prayer is an important part of the Lord’s ultimate victory over the evil forces in heavenly places. It’s an amazing fact, but true, that God has involved us in His work in the world, and a part of that is our prayers. He is dependent on it. Remember when Jesus wanted his disciples to stay awake and pray with Him while He was agonizing in the garden? Do you want Him to come to you in a dark hour and find you asleep to the need of the moment? Prayer pushes back the forces of darkness. So pray! And I would start now.
But not all is dark and somber either. Prayer is also a celebration of truth and light. Pray for the season joyful. Pray for spirits to be lifted. Pray that the light of the gospel that pierced that first night with angelic choirs will shine in the hearts and homes of those who believe, and those who are still seeking.
Joy to the world!