What does it mean to watch and pray?

Watch and Pray

Jesus said in the parable of the Ten Virgins that all, who profess to be Christians, will be sleeping when the bridegroom comes, rather than being spiritually awake (Matthew 25:5). So, He warned, “watch and pray” (Matthew 26:41). Peter explains the necessity of watching and praying, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

To watch and pray necessitates daily study of the Scriptures and a strong prayer life. Occasional attention to matters of religion is not sufficient. Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4). To abide in Christ means that the soul must be in daily, constant relationship with Jesus Christ and must live His life (Galatians 2:20). It is not possible for one branch to depend upon another for its life; each must have its own personal relationship to the vine. Each member must bear its own fruits.

To Watch and pray require also being attentive and alert about what’s happening around us. That’s what the Christian has to do because: “The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” (1 Peter 4:7). Part of this watching is watching oneself. “Examine yourselves as to whether you’re in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

The believer needs to be asking himself: Am I growing? Am I becoming more like Jesus? And like David, he should pray, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23,24). And he needs to be guarding the avenues to his soul. A person becomes what he takes into his mind.

In addition, the Christian needs to watch and pray for the safety of his fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord. “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19, 20). By watching others in love, he can save a child in Christ who would have been lost otherwise! A true Christian is his brother’s keeper.

Finally, God wants the believer to watch and pray for His soon coming (Matthew 16:2, 3). The Christian should to be praying and waiting with expectancy for the fulfillment of the signs of the end, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). This watching for the signs of the end should not be an idle experience but rather an encouraging motivator to get ready for Jesus’ return and spread the gospel to all the world.

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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