Keep Alert...Praying!

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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“Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.”

Luke 21:36

If Jesus is coming again, how should we live?

There is not one simple answer to that question, of course. But in the end of his discourse on the future in Luke 21, Jesus provides a crucial element of any answer to the question of how we live in light of the future. Here it is: Keep Alert...Praying!

Now, if you look at the New Living Translation, you’ll see that it includes two imperatives connected by “and”: “Keep alert...And pray.” This translation misses the precise relationship of these verbs in the original Greek. A literal rendering would read: “Keep on watching at all times, praying...." The act of staying alert is connected to the act of continuing in prayer.

The Apostle Paul connects alertness to prayer in Ephesians 6:18: “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Prayer is not something peripheral to the Christian life. It is not something that should get the leftovers of our time and attention. Rather, it deserves the best we can offer. We ought to pray when our minds are sharp.

Moreover, when we pray, we should be aware of what’s going on around us. I’m not referring simply to what appears on the evening news. Rather, we must be attentive to the deeper currents of our culture and especially to what God is doing in our world. When we see clearly the challenges we face, we will indeed keep alert in praying for strength to be faithful in all things to Jesus, the Son of Man.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: What helps you to be alert when you pray? What keeps you from praying with such attentiveness? How might you put into practice today what Jesus commends in Luke 21:36?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, with the earliest Christians we pray: Maranatha! Our Lord, come! We look forward to the day when you will put all things back together, when you will reign in justice and righteousness, when your peace will cover the earth.

As we think of your marvelous future, we pray: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Let your will be done now in our life and relationships, in our work and play, in our city and our church, in our country and throughout the world.

May your people live in the light of your coming kingdom. May we see all of life in this light and pray in this perspective.

All praise be to you, Lord Jesus, Son of Man. Amen.