Matthew 26:40-41 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. 41 "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." (NIV)
We are all familiar with prayer. But what about watching . A vital hint to the true meaning of "watch" can be found in Jesus comments in verse 41
" ........ The spirit is willing, but the body is weak"
To watch, is to pay attention to anything that may hinder our walk with God (i.e. the flesh, natural conditions, circumstances around us e.t.c) and make sure they do not make us grow dull spiritually. Watchfulness is the price of constant victory.
A failure to watch can result in us missing much of what God has to say to us and do with us.
Peter, James, and John failed to watch on the mountain when Jesus appeared with Moses and Elijah and tried to reveal to them about His decease - Luke 9:28-36.
They were overcome with sleep (Luke 9:32-33) and missed what Jesus was telling them.
Again in the garden of Gethsemane, Peter, James and John failed to "watch their flesh" and fell asleep during a time when prayer was essential - Matthew 26:36-46.
Their inability to watch was reflected in their dull spiritual understanding. They never comprehended the fact that Jesus was to die for the world - Mark 9:10.
Peter was writing from practical experience when admonishing us in his epistle in 1 Peter 4:7
"But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious (i.e.self restrained and alert) and watchful in your prayers" 1 Peter 4:7 (NKJV) (italics added)
What are the things that hinder your walk with God? Has your prayer life "faded away" without you noticing it?
When last did you receive a "word from God"?
Are you engaged in activities that leave you tired and heavy with sleep when it comes to prayer?
We all need to watch and pray.
Watch your flesh so that it does not stop you from praying.
Watchfulness is necessary if we are to be constant in prayer