A Prayer Prompted by Matthew 25

Heavenly Father,

The church has been waiting for Christ’s return for what seems like a long time. Help our faith to be genuine and our attitude to remain watchful so that we will be ready when he finally arrives.

Help us also to be busy about our Master’s business. You have given us resources and abilities that you expect us to use for you. Help us not to fear or get lazy, but rather to use what you have given us for your glory.

We also realize that the consequences of Christ’s judgment are eternal. We ask you to forgive us that we might inherit the kingdom that you have prepared for us from the foundation of the world.

We pray for all of those we know that are lost, that they might be saved, and in that way avoid the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

While we are waiting for Jesus and working for you, help us to be a blessing to the poor, the needy, the foreigner, the sick and those who are in prison.

Help us to be a blessing to any and all that need our help, starting with our brothers and sisters in Christ, but not stopping with only them.

And help us to keep doing this until Jesus comes.

In Christ’s name,

Amen.

 

 

Remaining Watchful

Yesterday morning at 3:00 AM the church’s burglar alarm went off. The alarm company called me – and I missed the call. Alas, I had set my phone to “silent”. When I finally woke up at 4:30 (no I don’t always rise that early) I noticed it, so I called the alarm company back.

Sigh of relief. They had been able to contact Debbie, who told them not to call the police. Good thing she lives right around the corner. I decided to spare Debbie the grief of another call that early (on a day off, no less, with the preschool closed) so I waited until later to ask her about the incident. If she said the police were unnecessary, then everything must be OK.

When the alarm people called, Debbie took a look at the place from her privileged vantage point and everything seemed calm and in order. A key detail is that only one “alarm zone” went off – in an isolated stairway/entrance. If someone was in there with evil intentions, there would be more alarm activity: motion in an office, opening of a crucial door, an attempt to disarm or disable the alarm system. Perhaps it was an animal. We’ve had both birds and bats in times past.

When I got there later, I noticed no living creature, but another interesting fact. A window in one of the classrooms was open. Wide open. That particular window is among the most accessible from the outside and it was open wide enough for a person to climb in or out. Flying creatures have normally entered through open windows upstairs. Moreover, it’s hard to imagine it was left open by accident on Sunday. It’s late December and Jake and I checked all the thermostats, doors, etc., as usual. Not likely the gaping window would have escaped our notice, but it may not have been latched securely.

There is no apparent damage to the place and nothing seems to have been taken. Perhaps fear gripped the prowler after he made entry and he fled. Maybe the sound of the alarm scared the intruder away. There are some real lessons here, mostly regarding watchfulness:

But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. – 2 Timothy 4:5 (NKJV)

  1. Be watchful all things.
  2. Always check all doors and windows to make sure they’re tightly closed.
  3. Keep the alarm set when no one is in the building.
  4. Thank Debbie for answering her phone at 3:00 AM.