Watch & Pray?


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It is He Who takes from us all fear and terror. It is He Who can give us assurance and resolution, that even to the end we shall remain safe and sound, that is, when we call upon God. For many think that they have gained all if they have some good desire. That makes them indifferent.

Soon afterwards they are seized with such laziness and coldness that they recoil from God and despise His help. That is also the cause why God often withdraws Himself and hides His power. For it is a good thing that men who confide too much in themselves find themselves frustrated and God mocks their arrogance and foolish imagination. Although, then, we may have all of that, yet we must not be slow to pray. And why not?

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Let us consider whether there is in us only the Spirit. Surely we shall find many infirmities remaining.

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Although God may have already worked in such a way that we may have whereof to offer thanks to Him and to magnify His goodness; yet there is reason to bow our heads and to see that if He left us we would very soon be, I do not say weakened, but altogether fainting. Now when it is said that the disciples went to sleep for the third time, even though they had been spurred so sharply beyond what we discussed this morning, that is, that we see how Jesus Christ to perfect our salvation sought no other companion let us also contemplate how slow we are.

For it is certain that we have no more ability than these three who are here mentioned, and yet they were the most excellent of the company, and those whom Jesus Christ had marked as the flower of the twelve, who were to publish the Gospel to all the world. Although, then, there was already such a good beginning, yet we see how they weakened. Now it is in order that we may have recourse only to the Son of God and that we may seek in Him all that is lacking in us, and that we may not lose courage when we feel such a weakness in us.

It is true that the example of the Apostles gives us no occasion at all to flatter ourselves as many will say that they have as much right to sleep as Peter and John and James but rather to make us displeased with our vices, that we may always know that our Lord Jesus is ready to receive us, provided we come to Him.

Furthermore, there is always this special reason that we declared this morning, that it was necessary that everything that is man should give way in order that we may know that the accomplishment of our salvation is in Him who was appointed by God as our Mediator. We must also note when we are near our Lord Jesus Christ that it is then that we must be more vigilant.

For the devil already has dominion over them. And that is why they can sleep at their ease.

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But according as our Lord Jesus exercises toward us the grace to call us to Himself, and to draw near to us familiarly, the battles are also instigated by Satan, because he wishes to draw us back from the obedience of the Son of God. When I say he sees that we are on the right track, then we have all the more rude assaults. Thus may each one prepare himself, knowing for what he was called by God, and what is his charge.

This, then, is, in summary, what we have to remember. Look where you are. For the devil is making every effort for the perdition of mankind, and in My Person the Kingdom of God must be recovered, or all creatures will perish. Yet here you are sleeping. But as time passed the disciples knew they must attribute all praise for their salvation to God, in view of their ingratitude, which was displayed in such brutish cowardice. So now we are admonished as I have already mentioned that the Son of God had to be shown to be our Redeemer by Himself alone and without aid.

Besides, let us also learn that it is absolutely necessary that God watch over us even while we sleep.

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For how many times will it happen that the devil would have oppressed us a hundred thousand times? Yet what means have we to resist him, unless God have pity on us, although He sees us, as it were, reduced to insensibility. So that must not give us occasion to go astray and to quit addressing God in prayer. So for our part let us be vigilant, even as we are urged by this exhortation. But let us recognize that however vigilant we ourselves may be, God must still keep a careful watch. Otherwise our enemies would soon win against us. Search this site.

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Children's Music Enrichment. Monthy brunch. Truth Stream Blog. Contact Us. November 5, We need to explore some of the important implications that striving to pray always—praying at all times—has on this life to which God has called us. In Luke , Christ also commands us to "watch.

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This fits with a major requirement of Christian life, that we examine ourselves. We are to be alert to those things about ourselves that will disqualify us from entering God's Kingdom so that we can change them. Self-examination is such an important spiritual activity that God includes it as a major part of one of His seven festivals, the Feast of Unleavened Bread. II Corinthians exhorts, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.

Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? God always gives us choices Deuteronomy Consider the example of Jonah. He could have done exactly what God asked of him, but instead, he rebelled, having to suffer an intense trial to bring him to obedience to God's will. Notice, however, that God's purpose never changed. The only variable was how much pain and suffering Jonah chose to experience before he submitted to God's purpose.

Initially, he chose rebellion and trials over submission to God. Luke Luke is frequently interpreted to mean that we should be closely watching current events so we know how close we are to Christ's return. The common paraphrase of this command is "watch world news, so that as you begin to see prophecy unfold, you can escape the horrors of the Tribulation.

This interpretation has led to a cottage industry of sorts within the church. A tremendous amount of effort is put into commenting on world events and tying them into biblical prophecy. The underlying assumption is that God wants us to have our finger on the pulse of the news, and this knowledge—combined with prayer—will make us worthy to escape all those prophesied things. But does this assumption agree with Scripture?

In fact, the Greek word translated "watch" has nothing to do with looking at events or keeping world news under close observation. Even without examining the underlying Greek, we can tell from the context that Jesus has something else in mind. Verse 36 begins, "Watch therefore ," signaling that it concludes or summarizes previous material. We cannot understand verse 36 until we know what preceded it.

But take heed to yourselves , lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. Clearly, Jesus' message is not an admonition to watch world events so that we will know when He will return.

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Instead, His instruction is to watch ourselves , which is what " take heed to yourselves" suggests. He is talking about being vigilant about our own spiritual state, as well as being circumspect and spiritually awake as we go through life. The danger is that, if we do not "watch" ourselves—that is, continually take stock of our condition and responsibilities—self-indulgence and material concerns will distract us, and we will find ourselves spiritually unprepared when the end comes. In fact, a subtle danger exists in being too caught up in current events, as it can distract us from the more vital spiritual preparation.

The upshot is that the Day will come, and we do not know when. Watching events unfold is not what makes us "worthy to escape," but our cooperation with God as He forms His character image in us does.

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