April 19, 2024

Watch and Pray

Written by Boyd Bailey

A life hijacked by hurry is a life that can lose its lookout for temptation.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 19, 2024

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41 

The disciples slept during Jesus’ time of need. Their Lord commanded them to watch and pray with him. But they slept. Why? How could they sleep when their friend, teacher, and Lord was exceedingly sorrowful? Exhaustion undoubtedly induced their bodies to slumber, but inner spiritual resolve could have kept them awake to pray with their Savior. And they could’ve been on the lookout for the coming mob of betrayers. Jesus lamented that those closest to Him could not be on the watch for their temptation to betray Him and to pray with Him fiercely.

Do your body and spirit work together to stay alert and pray for what God desires for you? Your body is designed by your Creator to merge with your spirit to accomplish His purposes like one tributary merging into another tributary to create a surging river. This is why prayer and fasting work in tandem to grow your trust in God and keep you from being controlled by physical desires. Does too much food and drink make you distant from the Lord by draining your physical and spiritual energy? Are you spiritually lethargic? When you watch and pray with Jesus, you are alert to keep temptation at bay, and you can experience life-giving intimacy with Jesus.

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2).

Continual physical exhaustion is a weak condition from which to make the best decisions. A life hijacked by hurry is a life that can lose its lookout for temptation. But a regular routine of rest clears the mind and optimizes physical energy. A move toward unhurried living is a sustainable lifestyle that sees trouble coming and makes wise adjustments. God modeled having a day of rest as He enjoyed His creation. Rest is our opportunity to enjoy God’s creation in God’s presence. Rest is also a needed pause to celebrate your accomplishments while thanking the Lord and giving Him the glory.

Charles Spurgeon describes how watching and praying support each other,

Put the two together, “Watch and pray,” or, as my text has it, “Pray and watch.” One will help the other. Prayer will call out the watchman; prayer will incite him to keep his eyes open; prayer will be the food to sustain him during the night, and prayer will be the fire to warm him. On the other hand, watching will help prayer, for watching proves prayer to be true. Watching excites prayer, for every enemy we see will move us to pray more earnestly. Moreover, watching is prayer. If there be true watching, the watching itself is prayer. The two blend the one into the other.

Watch and pray with Jesus in your sorrows and in your rejoicing. Look up to Him for love and direction, and look around you with the Spirit’s discernment to see and flee temptations. Learn from the disciples’ flaws to become a disciple who is awake to what God wants for you. Stay in proximity to His heart, and He will guide your heart. Yes, start today to watch and pray!

“Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them” (Nehemiah 4:9).


Heavenly Father, alert me to pray and discern temptations through Christ’s love. In Jesus’ name, amen.


What area of your life or relationship needs your full attention to discern the Lord’s heart for you?

Related Reading

Isaiah 41:10-13; Proverbs 16:3-5; 1 Corinthians 16:13; Colossians 3:17

Worship Resource

Citipointe Worship Feat. Jess Steer & Ofa Fakatoumafi: Heart on Fire


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