“Watch and Pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41
DID YOU arise to seek the face of the LORD this morning? OR, is the LORD a second class citizen in your life? Can you overcome without the LORD Jesus? No. He says to us: “Watch and Pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
One of the main ingredients listed in Scripture for readiness for the return of Christ, is prayer – it is essential. People who pray in truth before God do not continue in sin because they are living an abiding relationship with the Son of God, they live in the beauty of victory that only Jesus Christ can grant to those who take time to fellowship with Him in prayer. People who pray demonstrate their faith in God. People who pray hate wickedness, deceit, and iniquity of every form. People who pray fear God and love righteousness. People who pray hate what God hates and love what God loves. Praying people walk with God in the Spirit. The love of the God they commune with exudes from their being. They walk and talk with the Lord whom they are obeying – Luke 18:1. These praying disciples of Jesus are looking and prepared for His return at any minute. They are living in eager and burning expectancy of His return – because they love Him. (1 John 3:1-3) The Glory of God abides upon them.
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not to faint.” Luke 18:1
“Watching and praying” is not a suggestion, but a command, and not to be taken lightly. According to Jesus, these two ingredients are essential in the life of the believer who is to “endure unto the end.” (Matt. 24:13). Read Luke 21:34-36.
Make no mistake, prayerlessness is a sin. Prayerlessness is direct disobedience to the command of God. Prayerlessness is a manifestation of faithlessness. Prayerlessness is the epitome of self-trust and self-dependency. No need to seek God in prayer when pride and self-sufficiency reign on the throne of one’s heart.
Mark 14 traces the steps to lapsing (sliding backwards) in your relationship with the Lord. If one lacks fervency in his heart toward God, the reason for his cold heart is found in this chapter. There is no mystery. First, Peter neglects his communion with God by falling asleep during prayer time. He chose prayerlessness which led to powerlessness. Because of his failure, he “followeth him (Jesus) afar off”, warms up to the world, then denies His Lord under intense pressure. Prayer failure leads to power failure. Little prayer, little power. Lotta prayer, lotta power. For Peter, remorse ensued, then repentance (outline this scenario in Mark 14 – you will be blessed).
On earth we live under diverse daily temptations. Satan is still loose. Those who love God will prove/demonstrate their love for Him by overcoming. They refuse to leave their “first love.” (Rev. 2:4-5; 1 John 2:3-6) These will live forever with Him. They manifest their love for Him – by communing with Him. The genuine nature of their faith is proven in their daily actions. Their faith is real. They bring all their weaknesses, fears, sins, insecurities and doubts to their Lord in prayer communion. He cleanses, assures, strengthens and makes joyful their hearts because they trust in Him (Eph. 5:26). In that hour when they meet the Savior face to face, He will wipe away all their tears and vanquish all their sorrows for He loves them and they love Him (Rev. 21:4-7).
“Jesus never taught His disciples how to preach, only how to pray. To know how to speak to God is more than knowing how to speak to people. Power with God is the first thing, not power with people. Christ loves to teach us how to pray.” Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer, p. xxiii-xxiv
Memory Verse:“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2
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