Let us look at two passages of Scripture for today, both dealing with the command to “watch and pray.” The first is a warning Jesus makes to Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane. The next passage is from Peter as an older man, a mature servant of Jesus Christ. Pay attention to what Jesus told Peter in the Garden and what Peter the elder apostle is advising Christians to do decades later. It is the exact same advice!
Watch and Pray
Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world (1 Peter 5:6-9).
Peter was warned that his spirit was willing, but his flesh was weak. Hence the dire need to watch out for the Devil’s attack, and an even more pressing need to pray! That is precisely what Peter learned over time and he is sharing it with his brethren. Why did he fall that night of Jesus’ arrest? It is no surprise…he did not watch (he was sleeping) nor did he keep praying.
Even though the command “watch and pray” is not in the above passage from Peter, the teaching is clearly there, isn’t it?
“Be sober, be vigilant.” Keep your eyes open spiritually at all times. The Devil, the roaring lion, is always lurking. Don’t go asleep at the wheel, men. Our roads have rumble strips to warn us when we are swerving, but the Devil is not so kind to us when we doze off.
“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” God cares. Jesus knew that in the Garden as He poured out His soul to the Father. Peter came to learn this beautiful truth and we will be better for it if we truly believe it. God cares for us. He wants us to pour all (not some) of our care upon Him. He has big shoulders and an even bigger heart. His ears never grow heavy and weary from listening to His children talk to Him.
Watch and pray, men.