Keep watching and praying, that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Matthew 26: 41


Whether you think that this is a good thing or is troubling, God knows everyone of us in ways that no one else will ever grasp. He is aware of the half-hearted commitments that we can make so readily, and He is also completely tuned into the passionate yearnings for righteousness that fuel our best acts of loving service and times of deepest interaction with the Lord. For most of us, we live a life that is filled with times of contradiction as we may desire to always respond to others in a manner that speaks Jesus’ love; yet, we actually deliver a message that is a potent brew of frustration, anger, and self-defensive criticism. Jesus responds to me in these times by saying, “Keep watching and praying.”


So what does Jesus want me to keep watching for and what is the subject of all that prayer? It seems that the Lord is mostly interested in the fact that we are pulled to Him by this process; for, as we take up our vigil and allow our hearts this calming time of prayer, amazing visions and powerful words of truth and enlightenment will be spoken by God and into our hearts and minds. The visions may be as grand and as powerful as an epic film, or they may be seen as a spirit-lifting impression that is planted deep in the heart. At times we will hear and see words that clearly state God’s will and desire for us, and at other times, we will be left with the reassurance and the understanding that all is well with our life’s direction. At other times, the Lord leaves us with unresolved tension and in need of further contemplation and prayer.


Jesus is not calling us to a specific time of watching and praying. This is not an hour on a daily calendar or a week out of a month; for, the Lord doesn’t see time as we do, and He doesn’t plan His involvement with each of us around that sort of human concept of relationship. Jesus wants to watch and to pray with us through every beat of our hearts for the balance of our lives. Christ is aware of the challenges that we each face as we journey forth in this world. He is also attuned to the cares, concerns, and passions of our hearts; so, He desires to guide us into serving Him with all that we have. He knows me and you too well, and He is fully aware that for us to resist temptation and to continually seek to live righteously, our weak flesh needs His strength to hold us upright and strong in order to fulfill Christ’s calling for the life that He has given to us.