Week One: Be ALERT
The end of all things is near. You must be self-controlled and alert, to be able to pray (1 Peter 4:7)
Everywhere you look today there’s trouble. Trouble in our schools. Trouble in our families. Trouble in Syria. Some even think we’re in the end times. A “doomsday preppers” website instructs you how to get a free app to design a multi-level dream bunker, complete with all you need for a post apocalyptic bliss. Seriously?
But according to Scripture, no one knows the “day or the hour.” And instead of warning us to run for safety, build a bunker, or stockpile our goods, the Bible reminds us that when things look darkest, we are to “be self controlled and alert so we can pray.” We are also encouraged to love each other, show hospitality and serve others (vv. 8-10). In other words, we’re to live each and every day in obedience to God’s word, alert to His voice, whether Jesus returns tomorrow or in a hundred years.
Welcome to the 40-Day Challenge! This Challenge in Prayer will encourage you to be intentional about listening to God’s voice…our most important task on earth.
I’ll post a blog each Sunday morning, sharing six practical steps I’ve discovered that will help you experience more power in your prayer life. We’ll practice a different step each week. Our focus this week is on Being Alert. I hope you’ve gathered your tools: A Bible, a journal, some 3×5 cards (I like the wirebound version), and a copy of Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars: Learning to Hear the Voice of God.
Your reading assignment for next week is the Introduction, Chapters One and Two. Click here for a free download of these chapters if you don’t have your book yet. Answer the Personal Reflection Questions on page 189.
Let’s learn about Being Alert from the prophet Elijah. Take a minute to read: 1 Kings 19:1-12. Why do you think Elijah was able to discern God’s voice? What did you discover about listening to God?
Meditate on and memorize: Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. —Colossians 4:2
Action Step #1: Pick out a prayer trigger, an object that will make you more alert to pray. It’s fun to have a prayer trigger for yourself and for each family member. During a long battle with infertility, bunnies became my prayer trigger. You can see what happened as friends caught on and got a bit carried away with the encouragement. Now, our three kids now find all these bunnies (which number over a hundred) a bit amusing!
Action Step #2: Pray the BLESS prayer when you come across someone’s prayer trigger: B- Bless their Body; L-Bless their Labor; E-Bless their Emotional health; S-Bless their Social health; B-Bless their Spiritual health. Did you notice God at work?
Action Step #3: Make a Thank You List. In your journal, write down everything you are thankful for. Time yourself and keep writing for five minutes. Doing this exercise raises your disease fighting antibodies for several hours. Plus, it’s a great perspective builder.
Prayer: Lord, May I be sensitive to your whispers this week. May my eyes be watching for your work all around me. Train my heart to hear your voice. Remind me to pray for the needs I see all around us. Above all, may I be thankful for the many gifts you’ve given to me.
Stay ALERT to God’s voice!
Together in the journey,