In his address on Sunday the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson unveiled the new ‘STAY ALERT’ slogan. Some people feel unhappy about this new slogan but something in my own heart resonated with these two words on a different level.

During this season of lockdown and isolation, we, as Christians are provided with an opportunity to make the most of our time. Father finds surprising ways to encourage, strengthen and speak to His people. In the first couple of weeks, there seemed to be a lot of interaction between friends and family but as time has moved on that level of contact appears to have dropped off. Yesterday, I felt three things about remaining alert.

STAY ALERT IN PRAYER

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” [1] Take time to pray, to listen and become aware of what God is doing so that we can participate in it.

STAY ALERT TO HIS VOICE

Samuel, a young boy, about 11 years old was in the Temple serving the Lord. He heard a voice calling him so he ran to old Eli the priest. In fact, he ran to Eli three times before the old man realised who was calling young Samuel. He instructed Samuel what to do if he were to hear the voice again. On the fourth occasion, Samuel knew what to do. “Speak, for your servant is listening.” [2] We learn to hear the voice of the Spirit within us when we are attentive. Let us stay alert to whatever it is He wants of us.

STAY ALERT TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS

Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” [3] We are called to encourage one another daily. Modern technology provides us with effective tools to use for communication. Call, text, Face Time and video contact provide effective ways to encourage, strengthen and support others. In our response to stay alert to the Spirit we may hear something heaven-sent to share with a friend, neighbour or family member. Remember, we have been asked to stay alert to social distancing but not to be distant socially. Stay alert in prayer, to His voice and give courage to others.

[1] Ephesians 6:18 NLT [2] 1 Samuel 3:10 [3] Proverbs 11:25