Watch and Pray
The alarm bells are going off in my spirit. I hear the words “watch and pray” over and over as a directive and a reminder. This is no time to relax and “sleep” but a time to be diligently on guard and “awake” in the spirit realm. These days we have before us are days of intensity and urgency in spiritual matters, and we need to be at our best and brightest in the service of our God. I sense that we have been given a window of opportunity in our immediate future that we must not squander.
Proverbs 8:34 says “Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.” This verse is speaking of wisdom, of a person being focused and attentive to all that wisdom has to offer. This must be our posture also before God: listening, watching and waiting. It is the posture of a faithful servant, and we are wise when we live our lives with those three things as priorities.
In Luke 12:37 we have these words from Jesus, “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching.” There are several parables in the gospels that have the admonition to be watchful. Jesus was (and still is) repeatedly teaching the importance of staying alert to all who would listen. These parables were about His return, the Day of the Lord, and we get the understanding from these parables that it is easy to become unprepared and unconcerned.
In the parable of the ten virgins with their oil lamps, waiting for the bridegroom to come, only half were prepared with the extra oil that was needed. In the parable of the faithful servant and the evil servant, we have the juxtaposition of two kinds of servants. One servant, when the master returns, is found doing what he was told to do. The other servant, believing the master is delaying his coming, is beating other servants and eating and drinking “with the drunkards.” Verse 50 of Matthew 24 says “the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of.”
Mark 13:33-37 admonishes us to “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning—lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”
I hear the Spirit echoing Jesus’ exhortation to “Watch!” in this current season. Everything we should be doing while we are here on earth is with Jesus’ return in mind. Evangelism, prayer, ministry, our day-to-day activities all should be done with an alert and watchful attitude. We don’t want to be like Peter in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus came and found the disciples sleeping while He was praying. Jesus said to him “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak (Mark 14:37).”
Are we sleeping right now? Then let us wake up to the voice of the Spirit telling us to watch and pray. I want to be alert and listening intently for direction, correction, revelation, and everything else the Father wants me to know. I want to be found looking for Jesus’ return and busy about my Father’s business when He comes. Our futures were designed for His glory.
What joy we will have when the Master will say “well done, good and faithful servant…come and share your master’s happiness!” This will be said to all His servants who have been watching and praying and doing the will of God with all their might. Don’t be caught eating and drinking with the drunkards…be found listening, watching and waiting.