Are we sleeping? At a place called Gethsemane, Jesus told His disciples to “watch and pray”. (Matthew 26:41) He asked his disciples to be alert and to watch out for danger. Are we willing to “sit here, watch and pray”? How do we dare act without praying for God’s guidance?
Charles Spurgeon’s sermon notes on Matthew mention that watching and praying are joined for a special purpose. Prayer helps us watch and watching aids our praying.
For those of us who enjoy knowing what is going on in the world, it is easy to become news junkies. News from all over the world can fill hours of our lives. Unfortunately, the news often covers the atrocities of life and can make one feel as if life has become one bad movie.
By fixing our eyes on God, we rise above the circumstances that surround us and the ungodly evilness that exists in the world today. Jesus’ warning to His men to watch and pray was to prepare them for the time when some would fall away and deny him. When we do not watch, we become easy prey for external forces that come against us. We become sleepy, unsuspicious and ineffective Christians.
For those who trust God, there is always hope. The prophet Habakkuk affirmed that, “The just shall live by faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4) Habakkuk wrote, “I will stand upon my watch, and set myself upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.” (Habakkuk 2:1) As watchman, we look and wait for God’s direction. Rather than make requests when we pray, we need to wait for God’s reply.
Oswald Chambers pleads the case that we are to focus our prayers not on ourselves but on God. He wrote, “The purpose of prayer is not to get healed, get a job, get our house sold, or get whatever else we want. It is to get ‘the life of God in us’”. (If You Will Ask)
Watch and pray. We are redeemed for such a time as this.