Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, August 4, 2015
God’s Watchers, Sober and Watchful
Week One, Day Four. As I opened the dailyoffice.org website to Tuesday’s Evening Prayer, I was moved by the psalm for the day. And then, I thought about it. It is so similar to the psalm for last night, too! No wonder several verses were so familiar to me. Because, many of the same ideas and similar imagery are used in both Psalm 31 and Psalm 91. That’s why.
I noted that in the back of my head, and pushed on. Read further. When—I came across a short passage from 1 Peter, verse 5:8. “Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Wow. And again I say, wow!
Not the second part of the verse, but the first part was the part that made me come to a full stop. Peter is advising his readers to be sober and be watchful.
I was so intrigued that I went to the Amplified Bible and checked out the same verse. Here’s what I found: “Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.” Gee, all of those things are good qualities for me to emulate. First—well balanced, temperate, and sober of mind. That is certainly not someone who acts off kilter, rashly or in a hot-headed manner.
Second—vigilant and cautious. (I’ll consider the second word first.) Caution is the mark of someone who takes their time. Plans things out. Does not fly by the seat of their pants. And, lastly, vigilant! I appreciate the first translation, from the Revised Standard Version. “Be watchful.” I take that to mean that I shouldn’t go to sleep on the job! I know how difficult that can be. Lord, help me to stay alert. Peter really knew what he was talking about. The danger is very real. Indeed, the devil is right around the corner.
Yet, we know that through Christ, we have overcome the world! And, we have overcome the devil (and all his helper-devils). It’s true that we ought to be aware of the devil and all of his schemes and wiles. But, again. Jesus Christ has triumphed over the devil, sin and death. It is finished! Amen and amen.
Dear Lord, thank You for Your work on our behalf. Thank You for conquering the devil, sin and death. We pray that You might help us to come to love You more dearly and follow You more nearly. One day at a time. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen!
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