“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.”
in your prayers
This is the third reference to prayer in I Peter (3:7,12). “Prayers” is in the plural and means both the quantity and quality of our prayer life. We need balance and vigilance in every situation of prayer and every kind of prayer.
Eph 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”
“In” connotes in Greek “with a view to.” Carry out the above commands with a view to your prayer life. The first issue of prayer is the desire, not to get what we wish, but to discover the will of God. If we consummate the seven commands of verses 7-11, God will answer prayer. A calm and collected spirit and self-discipline facilitate our prayer life. If we do not retain the capacity for self-restraint in our mentality, it will be difficult to pray.
If believers have qualities of seriousness of mind and self-control in prayer, we can face trials properly. If we employ these two qualities, this will help us to pray. A Christian needs to know how to restrain himself, reign himself in, and operate in an orderly manner. God wants us to be apt to pray. A calm and collected attitude enables us to be more effective in our prayer life.
Sober prayer stands in striking contrast to the “frenzied” prayer of pagan worship of the first century. This is the opposite of undue excitement or mania prayers of those who have no right to pray based on the finished work of Christ.
2 Th 2:2, “Not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.”
Stability of mind is necessary for effective prayer.
Christians always on the race do not pray much. We need sobriety and self-discipline in prayer. Are you self-disciplined in prayer? When people succumb to pressure, they no longer concentrate. Hysteria indicates a lack of concentration and discipline. Stability of mind is absolutely necessary for your prayer life. Prayer takes concentration. Unless we can pray under pressure, we will not pray properly.
Are you sleepy in your prayer life? Dullness prevents dynamic prayer. If we fulfill the two commands of this verse, we create an environment conducive to answered prayer. God wants us to keep an inner steadiness while in prayer. Keep your heads. It is difficult to get through to the presence of God if we try to force our way into his presence through the crowd of anxious thought and sinful desires. We will rise from our knees, disappointed, and frustrated every time. We will say prayers but not pray.
Apathy, sluggishness, lethargy prevent dynamic prayer. Peter slept when he should have prayed. Peter was filled with anxiety and confusion in the Garden of Gethsemane when the soldiers arrested Jesus. Lacking sane judgment, he grabbed a sword and cut off the ear of a slave. This is not how we are to handle pressure under duress.
Mt 26:41, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Co 4:2, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.”
When we have an unbalanced mind, we cannot pray as we could otherwise. If our approach to life is selfish and irresponsible, we cannot pray as we ought. We would not know what to ask. We would ask for the wrong things because our priority would be wrong. The first priority of prayer is that we discover God’s will for our lives, not to get what we want.
Do you have an aversion for prayer? Aversion to pray is bizarre since prayer is a great promise and opportunity provided by God. We make a great mistake if we think that spiritual business will compensate for lack of communion with God. A full prayer life is a powerful life.
All of us do not have the same amount of money, but we all have the same amount of time. We all have equal opportunity to pray.