Christian Resource Center


Email copy

Print copy

Check out our new and evolving YouTube Channel

| Author:

Watching in the Spirit

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

Watch and Pray - two vital ingredients

Jesus instructed the disciples to watch and pray in order to avoid temptation. The scriptures are full of similar admonitions.

Nehemiah 4:9, Psalm 90:4, Luke 12:37, Psalm 141:3, Isaiah 29:30, Matthew 24:42, Matthew 26:40-41, 1 Corinthians 16:13, Hebrews 13:17, Revelations 16:13, 2 Timothy 4:5, 1 Peter 4:7, Zechariah 11:11

Watchfulness is the price of constant victory.

Watchfulness is necessary if we are to be constant in prayer and free from Satan. To watch we must pay attention to the natural conditions and circumstances around us and note how they affect us.

The Nehemiah Experience - Nehemiah 4 (Please read the whole chapter) Nehemiah 4:8-9

Nehemiah chapter 4 gives a beautiful picture of watching and praying. They worked (prayer) with one hand and a sword (watched) with the other. Nehemiah 4:17-18.

If the sword represents the "Word of God" then no watching can be complete without the word. Hence to stand against sin and temptation we need to.

  1. Pray

  2. Watch by being aware of our flesh and the circumstances around us, noting how they affect our prayer life and how we should adjust accordingly -Matthew 24:42-44, 1 Peter 4:7

  3. Hold the word - What is God saying to you and how is he leading you.
    Notice the trumpet in Nehemiah 4:18-20. This reminds us of the voice of God. We need to recognise God's voice during prayer times. Hearing God Should be our motive for praying. His leading may sometimes be gentle. We should not doubt it.

Watching is not just limited to our prayer life but should extend to all our daily Christian walk. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Are you standing firm in the faith?
Are your Christian deeds motivated by love?
We need to "watch" these things - 2 Timothy 4:4

Watchfulness is what pleases our master and brings reward - Luke 12:35-38

Watchfulness is faithfulness - Luke 12:42
Watchfulness is knowing God's will and preparing to do it. Luke 12:47

These people failed to watch.

- Luke 9:28 -36
- Matthew 26:36-46

These people watched

Luke 2:8-20
Luke 2:25-35
Luke 2:36-38

How to watch

We watch by holding onto the Word of God and using it to judge ourselves and understand the times - Mark 13:32-37

Watching in the natural is an exercise which requires discipline. It is a conscious effort which requires patience and a focus. We watch for something.

The scripture is clear what we should watch against - Luke 21: 34 -36

Make sure the cares of this world do not rule your heart. To the Christian, watching is a spiritual exercise which restrains the flesh.

What to watch

  1. Our hearts - Luke 21:34-36
    Not overtaken by evil desires, Luke warmness, cares of this world.

  2. The times - Mark 13:28 -36
    We are to remain conscious of the soon return of the Lord. We should not sleep but remain alert to the Holy Spirits leading and God's work.

  3. Your prayer life - 1 Peter 4:7
    Make sure you have a healthy, constant prayer life

  4. Our faith 1 Corinthians 16:13, Luke 21:34-35
    Are you growing strong in the faith, don't let weariness creep in?

Admonish to watch

Acts 20:31, Colossians 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:6, Hebrews 13:17, 1 Peter 4:7, Revelations 3:3, Matthew 13:24 - 30, Luke 21:34-35, Mark 13: 32-37

Questions for reflection

Watch and Pray

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


  1. Naturally speaking, what does it mean to watch against something?

  2. What did Jesus mean when He told us to watch and pray? - Mark 13:32-37

  3. What should we watch against?
    a. Luke 21: 34-36
    b. Mark 13: 28-36
    c. 1 Peter 4: 7-8
    d. 1 Corinthians 16:13

  4. The Bible frequently admonishes us to watch Colossians 4: 2, Revelations 3: 1-3, Matthew 13:24 -30, Mark 13: 32-37
    How can we remain watchful as Christians?
    1 Thessalonians 5: 5-11

  5. Study the following stories and determine those who were "watching" and those who were not?

    ? Luke 9:28 -36
    ? Matthew 26:36-46
    ? Luke 2:8-20
    ? Luke 2:25-35
    ? Luke 2:36-38

  6. What should you watch against in your own personal life?