“We made our prayer…and set a watch!” This was the secret of Nehemiah’s victory over the enemies that tried to hinder the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. The New Testament in several places has picked up this secret and applied it to different areas of your Christian life.
“Watch and pray” is the secret of victory over the world. In Mark 13 our Lord describes the trying conditions that will exist in the world in the last days, conditions that could well draw a believer away from the Lord. “Take ye heed, watch and pray!” He counsels in verse 33, “Pray with your eyes open and the world will not seduce you from loyalty to Christ.”
“Watch and pray” is also the secret of victory over the flesh. When James left Peter, James, and John in the garden, He warned them, “Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak” (Mk 14:38). Peter did not “pray with his eyes open,” and he walked right into temptation and terrible sin.
“Watch and pray” will also give victory over the devil, according to Ephesians 6:18. In the preceding verses, Paul describes the enemy we face and the equipment we must wear; but he makes it very clear that the energy for spiritual victory comes from “watching and praying.” Be alert and pray! Don’t go to sleep while you pray!
Finally, “watch and pray” is the secret of finding open doors for our Christian witness and ministry. Read Colossians 4:2-4 and start “praying with your eyes open!”
(Copyright, Warren W. Wiersbe. First appeared in Thoughts for Men on the Move. May not be copied or reproduced without express written permission of the author.)
Dr. Warren Wiersbe (1929-2019) was an internationally known Bible teacher, author, and conference speaker. He graduated in 1953 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. While attending seminary, he was ordained as pastor of Central Baptist Church in 1951 and served until 1957. From September 1957 to 1961, Wiersbe served as Director of The Literature Division for Youth for Christ International. From 1961 to 1971 he pastored Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky south of Cincinnati, Ohio. His sermons were broadcast as the “Calvary Hour” on a local Cincinnati radio station. From 1971 to 1978, He served as the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago 1971 to 1978. While at Moody Church he continued in radio ministry. Between August 1979 and March 1982, he wrote bi-weekly for Christianity Today as “Eutychus X”, taught practical theology classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and wrote the course material and taught a Doctor of Ministry course at Trinity and Dallas Seminary. In 1980 he transitioned to Back to the Bible radio broadcasting network where he worked until 1990. Dr. Wiersbe became Writer in Residence at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In his lifetime, Dr. Wiersbe wrote over 170 books—including the popular Be series, which has sold over four million copies. Dr. Wiersbe was awarded the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).