The Interactive Prayer – WOW!

“But the end of all things is at hand:be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.”1 Peter 3:16 KJV

This passage is a bit different in the Greek. We are being told to understand that the end is near and that our time is extremely important. We are to be “of a sound mind,” which many translate “alert,” and that is O.K. but the phrase here actually goes a bit deeper. It means to keep one’s mind in areas of usefulness; to think soundly instead of having our thoughts ruled by our emotional situation. In emotional times, we cannot think clearly in order to “see” clearly. The Lord always draws near as we tune into Him, but to have a mind that is alert and thinking appropriately, releasing faith is a huge asset when it comes to praying what is needed. The second thing is to “be sober,” which we equate with a lack of drunkenness from any source. The word can mean that, but it also includes other items. “…properly, to be sober (not drunk), not intoxicated; (figuratively) free from illusion, i.e. from the intoxicating influences of sin (like the impact of selfish passion, greed, etc.).” Strong’s definition. So we see, that our behavior is also included. 

The prayer Peter is encouraging is what we would call a “Spirit-filled prayer.” It is a prayer that is spoken through a heart and mind that is thinking clearly and able to “see” with eyes of the Spirit into what is true. Now we are always to pray, regardless of our situation. However, this verse is encouraging prayer during your best moments of the day – not the sleepiest ones. Those sleepy prayers are always good and received, but He wants to use us in prayer in other ways than just for me and mine. We need to be able to allow the Spirit to unfold Himself in us in such ways as to make clear how we are to pray. This is a dialogue, not a monologue. It is an interaction in Spirit with brain full on. No specific “need” is needed here, for the flow of the Spirit through the renewed mind is releasing prayer that reaches beyond need into the recourses of the Lord, already given. It releases and receives faith and instruction for life. It is a river that never ceases and that always fills and renews, for how can one touch Almighty God and not be truly renewed! 

The Huge Difference

“Jesus is the point of the Bible. To live by faith means looking to Jesus for all our hope, joy and peace. …The Scriptures are where we meet the risen Christ. We read the Bible, not as a spiritual offering but as a desperate receiving. We open the Bible not to impress God, but that He might impress us again with His gospel. …In the history of the church there has been no better description of the Bible than as ‘the Spirit’s testimony to the Son.” It is not a road map or an instruction manual for life. It is a biography of Jesus: commissioned by the Father, authored by the Spirit and addressed to the church.” Glen Scrivener, The King’s English Year Long Devotional

These words from Mr. Scrivener’s preface of his devotional echoed in my heart and fed the fire that has been burning there for a few days, so I thought this morning that I would just share from that fire.

We are such a self-centered species. We want everything where we can understand and we want all to make us “feel” good. When these two items are in tact within us, then our day works out pretty well for us. But when we do not “see” nor understand and when we do not “feel” good about matters, then we “nose-dive into our navels” and struggle to exist. This is just the way it is in our society. 

For the believer, the one sold out to Jesus Christ, the journey can be, and really must be, very different. We have been given faith, (“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3 KJV) When we became a believer, we were given faith – the same measure that all receive. We have the innate spiritual ability to “see” what cannot be seen and to believe what is impossible to believe. Therefore, we have an ability other people do not have that will enable us to live with a mind receiving much beyond a non-believer. 

Yet, we have not quite understood that the key to doing this, beginning to think with the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), and to set our minds (affections – KJV) on things above is directly related to our attitude concerning the Scriptures. If we know our hope is in Him and our lives are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3), then we begin to regard the Scriptures as much more than a daily devotional. 

We begin to see that our Jesus is every breath of God and as we willing receive these words (even when we do not understand them) as that breath so essential to our being, then we begin to consume the word. It is no longer a chore that “I need to do,” nor is it something to put off to a more convenient time. It is my life my breath. It gives me more of Him and I begin to “see” His thoughts and know His mind. This all takes a bit of time – there is no magic here. It is the training of the spirit-man in Spirit ways. We gradually, day by day, renew our minds – which in turn transforms our lives. (Romans 12:2)

It is awesome – this joy that simply waits until we willing begin to discover Him on every page and in every verse and every word. Jesus revealed and the revealer of the Scriptures – the Huge Difference!

Transformed Into Word

Wherefore [in view of the meaning of salvation that extends to glorification], having girded up the loins of your mind, being radically-moderate, completely hope on the grace being carried along to you, in revelation, concerning Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13

This is a very accurate translation of the Greek text in this verse. I found it (with some amplification) in my study, so have posted it for us. Many translations add to this verse,  making it only future tense and in doing so diminish its dimensions. It is true that we are to have this attitude of mind until Jesus comes and we see Him face to face. However, that is not really what this says. 

 “…having girded up the loins of your mind, being radically-moderate, completely hope on the grace being carried along to you, in revelation, concerning Jesus Christ.” We are to “gird up the loins of our mind.” In Peter’s time, men wore robes. When it came time to move quickly, they brought the back of the robe up through their legs and tucked it into their belt, making a trouser-type garment that allowed running and quick movement. Our instructions are to train our minds in ways of thinking that will allow us to be alert and able to concentrate. 

Our minds are our most undisciplined children. We are a bit lazy with them most of the time. Most of us will not spend much time in the word, nor with things that train us to think well. As a result, we are a Kingdom of God full of Biblically illiterate people, who are tossed easily this way and that into every thing that feels good. Therefore, revelation out of the Word is rare and we become unable to receive the Word. Instead, we want everything applied to us. 

Our Lord is an amazing Lord and Savior! I know that is an understatement, but we do not realize that not everything He writes is to apply to us. Instead it is to instruct us about Him and His Kingdom. We are to be transformed into Word. The Word is not to conform to us. 

Peter expected Jesus to come off of and out of the page. It was not a dead-word to Him. It was alive and it had the revelation of Jesus tucked away in the grace brought to a mind and heart that was trained in the receiving. 

May we become just such people. May our minds wake up into Him and into the Word. He has much to show us. Oh Lord, we watch and listen as we read and expect from the favor you have given. We expect to “see” and to know things that have not yet been seen or known.