Summary: Watch and pray, so that you will not fall into temptation. Watching excites prayer, for every enemy we see will move us to pray more earnestly. Moreover, watching is prayer. If there be true watching, the watching itself is prayer.
WATCH AND PRAY
“Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "What! Could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."(Matthew 26:40-41)
Jesus instructed his disciples, “Watch and pray, so that you will not fall into temptation. But they did not watch, they did not pray, and, therefore, they fell. In their defeat, they denied the Lord Jesus and fled as he was facing his greatest trial. He prayed throughout the time in the Garden of Gethsemane, while the disciples were sleeping. He was tired but chose to pray. Jesus knew that “the end of His work (or life) is near. Therefore, He needs to remain clear-minded and self-controlled, so that He can pray.” No wonder He was able to remain calm and composed throughout the trials. No wonder He has the strength and courage to face the cross and finish the job He needs to do.
The secret of victory over sin and the devil is to watch and pray. When we do not do this, we become frustrated, defeated, and angry. We speak unwisely and do not shine as light in the world. The reason Satan is so effective at influencing humans to sin is that humans are generally unsuspecting of Satan’s attacks.
• Those attacks come from an invisible enemy who seems to be nonexistent.
• Those attacks are subtle and come in the form of ideas, impulses, suggestions and moods that are not easily distinguishable from human or environmental sources.
• Those attacks come in the form of baited hooks that focus our attention on the lure and blind us to the concealed hook.
It is a war game of distraction—trying to take our focus away from doing what God commands. The antidote to all of this effort by Satan is to watch and pray, to be aware of his attacks so that we can be ready to resist with the Word of God and the power of God. We must monitor and anticipate these influences to sin and be ready to say no to them and yes to God’s instruction.
WATCHING means sleeplessness. It means to be awake and aware of surrounding realities. In the Scriptures it means to be spiritually alert, having a mind that is renewed by divine realities. Sleep is for the people at night. In the world we are living in gross darkness. There is gross darkness, and people are sleeping but the glory of the Lord arises upon God's people. His light shall be noticed in the darkness. God’s people are not asleep in the night of this world’s darkness. They can see what is happening in front of them with the harmony of what God is saying.
What does it mean to sleep? It means to be unaware of surrounding circumstances. It means spiritually unaware of the creeping compromise. Unaware of the insidious little things that will take us off our guard. We will become unaware of the specifics of our time. The specifics that were written, we will suddenly discover, too late. We will be bewildered and unprepared. The temptations are great, the distractions are many. Unless you are praying regularly, you will find it hard to stay faithful to God.
What are we doing if we are not sleeping? We are very active in the revelations of God’s word so that we don’t reject the offers of mercy. We are watching for the Lord by purifying our hearts by obedience to the truth. If you are going to be obedient to the truth, we must take it and not forget it. I have seen too much forgetfulness. People say, that was a wonderful message but if you ask them what the message about 2 was or 3 weeks later, they have forgotten. Why? They were sleeping why they were listening to it.
1. A watchful person opens his spiritual eyes to enable him pray appropriately. It is about what you see that should make you pray. If you can’t see in the spirit then don’t pray because prayer must be according to what you have experienced in the Spirit. That is the reason why most people are not prayerful.
2. A watching person is one who repents of his sins and obeys God. He is careful in his life and sets his affections on things above, not on things of the earth, which is passing away. (Colossians 3:1-4).
3. A watchful person is spiritually alert and very aware that sin still dwells in him. He knows that Jesus Christ defeated Satan by his death on the cross, but he is also aware that Satan and his demons are still given freedom to rule and tempt all believers. The watching person is aware that Satan, the enemy of his soul, is constantly prowling about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour every believer, if possible.