8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
‘Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. NIV
In these verses Peter describes, and calls Christians to,‘the good life’. It is one in which we love others; where we seek to do them good, even though they may treat us bad. It’s about ‘’blessing’’ others (and consequently being blessed by God).
In the ‘Sermon on the mount’ Jesus taught: ‘’Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven’’ (Matthew 5:44,45b).
In the previous section we saw the importance of prayer at the heart of marriage (7). It struck me just the other day that this is its ‘next door neighbour’ passage, and it too has prayer at its heart (12). If we would live the good life, as it is described here (and see how different it looks to the world’s definition. Some of you will remember the ‘Martini’ adverts from a few years ago!), then we can only do it prayerfully. Prayer is the ‘engine room’ of the Christian life.
‘Little prayer, little power; some prayer, some power; much prayer, much power.’
PRAYER: Lord, teach us to pray.