Friday, 16 December 2011

Watch and Pray

Praying is simple /easy. Children can do it. It is no effort.
He does not answer according to merit, or on the grounds of self effort. He does not respond in proportion to the time we spend in prayer.

We also have the help of the Holy Spirit and Jesus:

Heb 7:25 ‘he always lives to make intercession’. Jesus intercedes for us with the Holy Spirit.
Rom 8:27 34. ‘the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God’. Romans 8.34 ‘ Christ Jesus, who is at the right hand of God, intercedes for us’.
Romans 8.26 ‘’the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words’.

It is because of Gethsemane and Calvary that we can be bold to enter the Holy Place where all prayer is answered.

Mark 14:32-40 The agony of Gethsemane was not just the agony of the man Jesus but the agony of God as man, God in human flesh.
An agonizing body soul and spirit asked disciples to "Watch and pray with me".

Disciples were asked to watch and pray. Be aware of others around you when praying together. Jesus told them to watch while He prayed. They did not, so He then asked them to pray also.
Pray that you do not fall into temptation.

Watch = look and see what is happening, such as signs of the times.
There are times when we have to wait for the circumstances to be prepared for us by the Lord.
We must be in God’s timing as well as His will. For example, Paul (Galatians 2.1) waited fourteen years to return to Jerusalem with Barnabus.
Resting and waiting is especially for true disciples.
Luke 22:45 ‘When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief’. Their master (verse 44) was in anguish, and the disciples were full of sorrow thinking what could happen, instead of what Jesus had said would happen. This represents a stronghold we must be aware of in our lives. We must keep our eyes on Him, watching and waiting for Him, our friend, Saviour, helper and Lord.

He did not reveal all things to all of the disciples, only to those who chose to be close to Him -Peter, James and John.
Gethsemane showed them that their flesh was weak.
He took the three to see the agonizing of His humanity at Gethsemane. To see the unveiling of the depths of His Human heart.
(Also at the Mt of Transfiguration they saw God’s glory).

John 12:27 ‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say – ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour’. Jesus knew the pain of the soul, sorrowful unto death. He knew what it was to agonize in prayer.
He has been through it for us, so He can help us, and we can help others.
Prayer is easy for us when we see what He went through, that we might be free to pray for others. He saw the end result.

We must be aware that w do not see all things clearly. 2 Corinthians 3:14-16 the veil of the old life remains, yet it is lifted in Jesus. v 17-18 Liberty where the Lord is. We have freedom from the old life of doubt and unbelief. Watch out for the materialistic way of life in prayer. James 4:3 ‘ You ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasure.’ We have to ask with the right motives to receive. We can not allow our old life to effect our new life in Jesus Christ. Selfish prayers do not please our Father.

Matt 4:1-4 The devil tempts Jesus with ‘Look to your own needs Jesus’.
Jesus could turn stones into bread. He fed 5000 at the appropriate time.
Who are you in Jesus?

v 5-7. The devil’s temptation says ‘do something supernatural, show them who you are’.
Likewise we must watch the lure to destruction. Signs and wonders must come from right motives. There has to be righteousness and holiness in our motives. Our motives need to be for others needs.

v 8-10 Do not test God in prayer, accept His will, not yours. ‘Compromise with me says the devil’. Jesus replied ‘I will serve Him only’. We must test our own spirit.

We need to be aware of what is happening in any given circumstances, or we pray
with only a little faith. Be assured of His will and The word.

Matt 17:1-12, the transfiguration, a mountain top experience. Next came the valley, faith had diminished without Jesus around.
Matt 17:14-20 The test of the mountain experience came in the valley.
We have to walk and pray on earth according to what we see in vision on the mountain top.
Jesus’ level of faith was constant wherever He was. He was simply in the Father’s will. In contrast the disciples had faith.

Matt 26:35 Peter’s heart for Jesus was good. He would have done anything for Him. But he did not really know Him. He failed to see the Kingdom of God. He failed to watch and pray.

Be aware of being lifted up above our faith level or gifting. When we get success in answered prayer we feel that it is always expected of us. We then struggle to prove ourselves instead of God. Remember it is Him in us as Master.

Habakkuk 3:1-2 ‘Lord I have heard about you and I fear’ is an Old Testament look at God, about an earthly people in an earthly setting. The New Testament view is based on relationship with Jesus, a heavenly state of mind in a heavenly people, on earth.

Waiting – In Old and New Testament = standing under. Actively enduring. Active strength until it comes. Eagerly seeking, looking over the horizon for it to come.

Like the watchmen of old, if you are waiting, keep looking.

Pray Pray Pray.