Watch and Pray

When Jesus knew that His life here on the earth was nearing the end, to be the ultimate sacrifice for mankind, He and His disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Jesus asked three of His disciples to go with Him, Peter and two sons of Zebedee, James and John. He told them to stay and pray as He went a little further and fell on His face and prayed earnestly to the Father. He returned to the three disciples and found them asleep. He asked them “could you not pray with me for one hour? Watch and pray, lest you fall into temptation. This account can be found in Matthew 26:36-45. Earlier Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you I will never disown you.” And so said all the disciples” Matthew 26:35. As it turned out, they could not even pray with Jesus for any length of time. The physical need for sleep had overtaken them because of human weakness. Jesus knew that their spirits “were willing” and He knew they wanted to stay awake and pray, but the weakness of their flesh had overpowered the spiritual desire to watch and pray. He was exhorting them and not admonishing them but exhorting them to beware of the weakness of the flesh.

Earlier Jesus was prophesying about the end times in Luke Chapter 21. He was stressing the importance to “watch and pray.” He warned, “do not let your hearts be weighed down with carousing drunkenness and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.” – Luke 21:34. In verse 36 He starts by stating “Watch therefore and pray.”

We can easily be distracted by the physical desires and can be or will be caught unaware if we are not continually on guard, as watchman on the wall. Our flesh can cry out loudly when it wants something or the fleshly desire become greater and raise such a ruckus it can easily drown out the desire of the spirit. We must realize that Satan has set up this world to aid into the appeal to our fleshly weaknesses, such as greed, gluttony and other desires. He also plays into our fleshly fear that we will not be taken care of. In Matthew 6:25-26 25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Jesus Himself knew of our human weakness and He had to fight against weakness of the flesh as well, because He came to the earth and was born into human flesh and was exposed to all that we are exposed to. He had to pray with strong crying and tears to His Father. He had to be watchful so no sin could enter His heart. Hebrew 5:7-8 7“who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.”

As believers we know the struggles that we go through to watch and pray. We are no different than the disciples in Jesus day in the Garden of Gethsemane. We can be thankful that we have an advocate with the Father when we fail.

Let all of us watch and pray during this fast to prepare for the move God this fall and the “10 Get Readies”.

Alger Julson
Prayer/Altar Team Ministry Leader
NCWC

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