Watch And Pray (Part One)
Watch with Jesus for one hour because the hour that you watch might be the hour when Jesus returns.
“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
“When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.” (Psalms 63:6)
“And what I say unto you I say unto all Watch. (Mark 13:37)
On the night before Jesus was betrayed and arrested. He spent hours travailing in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus told Peter to watch and pray so that he would not enter into temptation.
The Psalmist says that he remembers the Lord in his bed and meditates on Him throughout the night watches.
This is an encouragement for us to follow this principle. We might not be physically awake all night, but our spirit must be in tune with the living God.
Thus, the Lord has impressed upon my heart to write a series on the importance of watching with Jesus.
Romans 12:1 states, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
It is our reasonable service to God to make sacrifices for Him.
When we watch and pray it is a sacrifice to God and He will provide the fire of the Holy Spirit to purify and renew our minds so that we will not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
The meaning of Watch
In the Strong Hebrew/Greek Lexical Concordance, the Hebrew word for watch is ašmurâ (H821) (ash-moo-raw), which means a period of time, a night watch, or military watch.
- To keep or to have charge of eg “And the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep H8104 it.” (Genesis 2:15)
- Watchman eg “Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keepH8104 the city, the watchmanH8104 waketh but in vain.” (Psalms 127:1)
- To keep guard or to save life eg “The LORD is thy keeperH8104 the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.” (Psalms 121:5)
- To watch for or preserve eg “The LORD shall preserveH8104 thee from all evil: He shall preserveH8104 thy soul. The LORD shall preserveH8104 thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” (Psalms 121:7-8)
- To observe eg “This is my covenant, which ye shall keepH8104 between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. (Genesis 17:10)
- To be on one’s guard and to keep oneself from eg “KeepH8104 me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity. (Psalms 141:9) Whoso keepethH8104 his mouth and his tongue keepethH8104 his soul from troubles. (Proverbs 21:23)
Note that one of the Lord’s promises to His people is to be their guard or keeper. So, He keeps watching over us twenty-four/seven. He neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalms 121).
In the New Testament, Jesus tells us to watch for His return at all times because similar to a thief who can attack at any time, we will not know when He will return.
You will also like: The fourth watch of the night
But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. (Matthew 24:43)
The first word, ‘watch’ in the above verse is from the Greek word phylakē (foo-lak-ay’) and it means in English guard or watch.
- A watching or to keep watch eg “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch G5438 over their flock by night.” (Luke 2:8)
- Persons keeping watch eg a guard or sentinel eg “When they were past the first and the second ward, G5438 they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. (Acts 12:8)
- It is a place where captives are kept or a prison eg “Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prisonG5438 and ye came unto me. (Matthew 25:36)
- It is a period of time when a guard is on duty eg “And in the fourth watchG5438 of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. (Matthew 14:25)
The second word ‘watch’ in Matthew 24:43 is from the Greek word grēgoreō (gray-gor-yoo’-o) (Strong) which means:
- To watch or give strict attention to something or someone, to be cautious eg “Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watchG1127 with me.” (Matthew 26:38) “WatchG1127 and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
- To take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtakes you eg “Be sober, be vigilant G1127 because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1 Peter 5:8)
- The Greek word phylakē is from the root word phylassō G5442 and it also means to watch or guard but it also means:
- To keep from being snatched away, preserve safe and unimpaired eg “Now unto him, that is able to keepG5442 you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24)
- To guard against being lost or perishing eg “But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and keepG5442 you from evil.” (2 Thes 3:3)
- To observe eg “But He said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keepG5442 it.” (Luke 11:28)
- To avoid, shun flee from eg “And He said unto them, ‘take heed and bewareG5442 of covetousness: for a man’s life consist not in the abundance of the things which he possessed” (Luke 12:15)
Based on the above definitions of watch you are basically being on guard or alert at all times.
When you are watching, you are essentially ensuring that you obey the Word of God, you shun evil, and keep yourself unspotted in this world.
Next week we will look at the significance of watching by being on guard and staying alert.
Are you watching while praying?
Read also: The Night will not last.