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In that most intense time, as Jesus and His disciples gathered in the garden where He was arrested, He told us to watch and pray. What does He mean by telling us to watch, to watch and pray? Look with me at these verses from Matthew 26.

“Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, 'Sit here, while I go over there and pray.' And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, 'My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.' And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, 'My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.' And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, 'So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.'”

In this passage our Lord calls us to Watch with Him. When Jesus first told His disciples to watch while He prayed, they might have assumed He was telling them to watch with their physical eyes for their enemies to come. And that may have been a small part of what He meant. But He did not simply tell them to watch so He could devote all His attention to prayer. He called them to watch with Him. He was inviting them to enter into His spiritual insight. Jesus is telling us to be alert for spiritual insights in and around us.

Our Lord is calling you to spiritual insight in your situation. When we prayer-walk, we pray with our eyes open. When you come to a house with children's toys in the yard, you automatically pray for their children to be protected and drawn to God. I remember seeing a trash can overflowing with liquor bottles and other signs of dissipation. I prayed for God to deliver the people living there from bondage, and all the heartache related to it. But beyond what we easily see, we seek God to show us what to pray for at every house, or school, business we pass. Any time we pray we open our hearts for God to show us things we need to see in our situations, and to see them from His perspective.

Jesus calls us to spiritual insight into our own hearts. When we watch and pray God will show us where we are vulnerable to the enemy. This does not sound fun to us in our worldly nature. But it is absolutely crucial in the midst of spiritual warfare. Jesus told Peter to watch and pray lest he fall into temptation. But he was too busy declaring anding his stalwart faith to seek God's power in his life.

As we pray we enter the fellowship of insight. We don't just watch. We watch with Him. We connect to our Lord's spiritual insight. We see with His eyes. We understand with His mind. When we pray with others, we come near Him with them and we begin to share one another's insights.

I am just beginning to scratch the surface of what Jesus is calling us to do and see as we watch in prayer. What is God showing you about watching?



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Comment by Malva Birch on October 13, 2019 at 9:56am

David, I've been thinking about what you wrote. It is very encouraging to me - to be invited by Lord Jesus to WATCH WITH HIM. While watching with Him, He is also watching with us and guarding and guiding us. May this strengthen us and give us prevailing peace in Him through all our battles until the end.

Please Lord God, let this be so always, because of Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross and His blood shed for us. Thank You for Your deep kindness and amazing grace. Amen.

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