Father, thank You for Peter’s reminder that as the end approaches, believers must be earnest in prayer, share Your deep love with others, and use our Spiritual gifts. Some of these sound so easy. None of them are. I can do none of them without Your help.
Thank You for giving me the ability as a believer to come to You in prayer. I love my conversations with You! Sometimes I feel closer to You when I walk around the lake, or through the trees, or can see the mountains. When I am surrounded by Your amazing creation, You often give me a word of instruction or encouragement. You have taught me things by watching geese flying above, or ducks feeding in the pond, or sunlight shining through dark clouds. You have shown me how to be humble through the faces of blossoms that track the sunlight across the sky, or sunflowers that have heads so heavy with seed that they bend low.
It is so easy to praise You in the presence of Your beauty. But rejoicing in suffering is harder to do. Sometimes, my side of the conversation is sobbing and tears. It is anxious pleading with pain. You reach out to me then too. There is nothing You cannot handle. There is nothing too big or too small to bring to You. Thank You for this life-saving and life-giving privilege of prayer.
Father, teach me how to show Your great love to others. It feels easy to do with strangers. Kindness to a stranger is short-lived. Help me to be loving and forgiving and hospitable to those I know. Show me how to be humble, and not grumble. And especially to those I know well, give me perseverance to act and speak in love for the long haul.
Lord, lead me in seeking out ways to join You where You are already at work, in ways that will use my Spiritual gifts. Give me the energy and stamina to serve. Show me how to serve humbly so You get the credit. And let me recognize when to step back so another can use their gifts.
In all these things, let me also be aware of “[my] enemy the devil” who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”. Help me see through his lies and deceptions. Help me avoid his traps and temptations. Strengthen me to resist him in all his cunning ways. Make me strong, firm and steadfast. Yours is the power forever. I know You will never fail me. Thank You. Amen
I Peter 4:7-5:14