When a parent, Bible leader, or teacher says that they are praying for you, what do they mean? Have you ever wondered what they are praying for you? They might be praying for your health, or your grades, or your upcoming games. But they are also praying for your spiritual growth. Like Peter prayed for his Christian readers in today’s passage, they are asking the “God of all grace” to show you special grace by continuing His work of salvation in your life. They know that like them, you are facing daily struggles with sin and faith. They know that as Christians, we must all go through experiences of having “suffered a while.” But the issue is how we respond to our trials. They pray that you will not be defeated, that you will not become depressed or bitter or angry or indifferent, but that God’s work around you will lead you to submit to His work in you.
So they pray that God would “perfect” you, or make you into a mature follower of Christ. They pray for spiritual fruit and growth in your life that both you and they will rejoice in the evidence that you are indeed Christ’s disciple (John 15:8). They pray that God would “establish” you firmly in your faith, so that you would know what you believe and why and who you are as a son or daughter of God. This is why your family and teachers who pray for you, these prayer warriors who labor before God on your behalf, also keep encouraging you to read your Bibles daily. It’s not about legalism, or getting you to “be good” and make God happy by reading His Word. No. They want you to soak up truth, to learn the promises of God that you have in Christ and let these promises take firm roots in your souls. They are praying that your minds would be transformed and renewed.
Like Peter, they pray for God to “strengthen” you. Are you strong for Christ? We have many middle school students, especially in sixth and seventh grades, who have been boldly professing their faith in Jesus in the past nine months. Are you part of that group? Or are you still on the fence about your faith, not yet willing to stand up and sell out for Jesus? You need to know that people who care about you are praying for you to become “strong in the Lord, and the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). Finally, people are praying for God to “settle” you by showing you His plans for your life right now and giving you the courage to step out and do what He is calling you to do. Yes, it takes courage to follow God in faith, to do what He says even when it might cost us popularity or when others are against us. That’s why we are calling upon the “God of ALL grace” to help you do it!
The Text (1 Peter 5:10)
10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
Background and Observations
• Peter’s prayer in verse 10 is a confident prayer that He trusts God to answer. He shares the apostle Paul’s conviction that when God truly saves a person by “calling” them to Himself, He will always follow through to “perfect” or finish that person’s salvation. Consider Philippians 1:8, where Paul encourages his Christian readers “that He [God] who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Or look also at Romans 8:30, where Paul says, “Moreover whom He predestined [chose for salvation], these He also called [drew to Himself]; whom He called, these He also justified [made right with Him by giving them saving faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus]; and whom He justified, these He also glorified [finished their salvation in heaven once they died].”
• Verse 10 also helps explain why as a middle school, we are talking so much with our students about their salvation, an issue which many are saying that they settled when they were little children. Conversion can happen when a person is young, but there should then be evidence of spiritual growth in Christ since that experience. When a student is not showing evidence of becoming mature, established, and bold in their faith, as teachers we become concerned that he or she might not have a real, saving relationship with Jesus Christ. We then need to have gospel conversations with theses students and pray for God to help them settle the basic issue of their need for repentance, faith, and regeneration (being born again) by the Holy Spirit. Our prayers are then targeted for the salvation of these students so that they, too, can begin to grow in Christ.
Questions to Think About
1. Who do you think or know is specifically praying for you the way that Peter models in this passage? Take a moment to thank God for them and to thank them in person if possible.
2. If you have been growing in Christ for several years, are you praying like this for anyone? Now could be a good time to start!
3. What can you do in the next few weeks to cooperate with “the God of all grace” as He works to “perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” in your faith?
4. When we come back from the Christmas break in January, we will study through the book of Ephesians in the homeroom blog and in our next chapel series. This is a fantastic book for helping to establish you in who you are in Christ and how that can change your daily life. Are you willing to commit yourself to studying Ephesians in a daily time with God? What needs to happen with your schedule so that you will be able to have a consistent time and place to let God transform your life through this short but powerful book of the Bible?