Summary: Jesus commanded the disciples to "watch and pray." Paul encourages us to "be alert and always keep on praying." The same word is used for "watch" and "alert." Both are in the context of spiritual war. Like it or not, every time we engage in prayer, we eng

Prayer Keys - Alert

Pray and ask in the Spirit all the time. Keep this in mind. Watch out. Keep praying. Pray for all the saints, Ephesians 6:18.

Jayme Biendl, a 34-year-old prison guard, was strangled to death in the prison chapel. The chief suspect was serving a life sentence. Even in the chapel, prison guards must be alert. It can mean life or death.

Most books on prayer say we should have faith and praise God. Most books on prayer mention God’s will and giving thanks. Some books on prayer say we should be holy and fast. Very few mention being alert.

“Be alert! Watch out!” 1 Peter 5:8. Why should we watch out? Because our enemy, the devil, is a lion on the prowl. He seeks someone to eat. Prayerless Christians and prayerless churches are easy prey. We must watch out for Satan. We must watch out in prayer. Watch and pray.

Paul doesn’t describe a lion out to eat us. He paints a picture of war. As he tells us to prepare for war, Paul tells us to take up the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.

The armor isn’t the climax as we get ready for war. The climax is that we should pray in the Spirit. “Pray and ask in the Spirit all the time. Keep this in mind. Watch out. Keep praying. Pray for all the saints,” Ephesians 6:18.

Like it or not, we’re in a spiritual war. Satan wants to defeat us. He wants to chew us up and spit us out. Every time we pray, we engage in that war. As we give praise and say thanks, our faith grows for the next battle. As we keep on praying, God gives us victories in our lives and the lives of those for whom we pray.

We should also watch for answers to prayer so we can thank Him.

Have you heard about the praying woman with an atheist neighbor? She was the type who would pray out loud. “Thank You, Lord, for a lovely day... Thank You, Lord, for rain to water the flowers...” Even in hard times she kept praying. “Lord, I’m out of work and need groceries. I look forward to Your providence.”

This last prayer caught her neighbor’s ear. He decided to teach her a lesson. He bought her groceries. He bought everything he thought she would need for a week. He didn’t just buy the cheap stuff. He bought the best. It cost him, but maybe she would learn her lesson. Maybe she would shut up.

He put the sacks on her porch, rang the bell, and ran to the corner of the house to see her find them.

“Thank You, Lord, You bought me groceries!”

The atheist spoke up. “No. God did nothing. I bought the groceries.”

She then prayed even louder. “Thank You, Lord. You bought me groceries and got the Devil to pay for them!”

We should watch for answers so we can thank Him.

In 79 AD, Mt Vesuvius erupted. Pompeii was burned and buried in ash for 1700 years. Since it was found, we know what food that was on the tables. We know the clothes they wore. We know much of their life. Then the volcano erupted.

I think the most interesting find is an outline on a wall. The silhouette is a man, a Roman soldier, standing guard. Almost 2000 years later, we don’t know his name. We do know he did his duty.

2000 years from now, God will know our names. 2000 years after that He will know our names. Every 2000 years for eternity He will know our names. Will He also know that we fulfilled our calling? Will He know that we watched and prayed up to the very end? He will, if we do. If a soldier in a pagan army can be faithful to his call, how much more should we?

[Most of what had been in this message has been deleted. Now that “Prayer Keys” is an e-book, I have a responsibility to the publisher to limit the content available free online.]

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