The Word says “Watch and pray… (Mark 14:38 )
Watch and pray? Isn’t that backwards? Shouldn’t it be Pray and then Watch? What difference does it make anyway?
I’m convinced there is a LOT of difference. To ‘watch’ is to be diligently observant, alert, on guard … if you will.
Yes, we do have to be vigilant and aware of situations that could place us in temptations path.
However, I read this verse with an even deeper meaning.
As we commit our day unto our Lord, asking for His Divine perspective – to have His heart, eyes and ears with which to view our world, we can expect the Holy Spirit to move us to prayers of intercession at anytime and anywhere we go because we are watching with His radar.
He will nudge us as we observe our surroundings to pray for specific people as they cross our paths, coming into view for only a matter of moments: someone in a crosswalk, ahead of us in a store, in a restaurant, at the Post Office, a car in the next lane. The list is endless.
To “pray and watch” is a shotgun approach to praying. It’s like firing buckshot, it’s so general and scattered it doesn’t hit anything specific because there’s no real target.
But as we ‘watch’ and the Holy Spirit prompts us to pray for specific individuals, this direct target prayer is far more powerful and effective because we hit the bull’s eye! How do we know it’s a ‘bull’s eye?’ Because it was Holy Spirit inspired and directed.
For total strangers we can ask our Heavenly Father to remove every obstacle standing in the way of the Holy Spirit’s work in their heart in order to reveal His great love for them, to them, – if they do not know Him – and if they do know Him, to remove every obstacle that would be preventing them from pursuing a closer walk with Him. It’s a win/win! And who knows, our short prayer of intercession might just be the only prayer that anyone has ever prayed for them.
So… as we ‘watch and pray’ under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we can rest assured that our great God’s Kingdom is being expanded with eternity revealing the results.