The Urgent Call to Watchful Prayer
- Wednesday, September 11, 2013
“Prayer is of transcendent importance, for it is the mightiest agent to advance God’s work… Prayer has won great victories and has rescued, with notable triumph, God’s saints when every other hope was gone. Men who know how to pray are the greatest blessings God can give to earth—they are the richest gift earth can offer heaven. Men who know how to use this weapon of prayer are God’s best soldiers, His mightiest leaders.” E. M. Bounds
Those who are truly listening to the Lord would agree that we are at an urgent hour in history. The greatest thing the enemy would desire of us at this time would be to miss the urgency of the hour by putting our attention on secondary matters.
We are in a season where we have a significant role in touching the nations deeply through our watchful prayers.
God’s watchmen in prayer see into the distance, observe what is happening, and lean forward in prayer. Sometimes they see with eyes of discernment, and at other times they may see things way in advance. God gives them insight in order to intercede. The Greek word for “watch” means, “to be vigilant, wake, to be watchful.”
"A watchman on the wall does many things. He carefully watches what is happening and alerts the community when good ambassadors approach the city… A watchman also warns the city far in advance when an enemy approaches. He sounds an alarm to awaken the people because he knows ‘to forewarn them is to alert and arm them.’ Then they quickly can rally to take their stand on the wall against the enemy before he wrongfully tries to enter into the city.” - James Goll
We must give ourselves to watchful prayer, and we must encourage all Christians to do likewise. We are not living in days of peace, but there is an intense spiritual war that we are facing that cannot be ignored. As we read the newspaper or listen to the news, we find problems of such a great magnitude that only God can be the solution. The situation in Syria and Egypt, the threat of war, and the increase in disasters, human trafficking, and so much more is an urgent call to steadfast and watchful prayer.
Even though many Christians may not realize it, the seriousness of the hour all over the world is just as urgent as it was after that terrorist attack in 2001 in the U.S. This week is the 12th anniversary of 9/11. We need to ask ourselves, "Have we changed since this terrible attack on America? Have we as a nation sought after the Lord in deep repentance? The answer is no; we have not. We've sought to rebuild without a deep repentance and a wholehearted turning to the Lord. This warning is not only for America, but for all nations.
We who are followers of Jesus and His Kingdom need to prioritize prayer now, both personally and corporately. We must unit and come to the Lord in repentance and fasting. The following are adapted parts of a letter I wrote shortly after 9/11 that stresses the urgent call to watchful prayer:
We must give ourselves to watchful prayer. We cannot stand in warfare alone because the task is too great. The opposition is too immense, and we desperately need one another. The enemy has tried to divide us, keeping us busy but without power. God has a strategy for covering the nations with prayer. He has a way to bring breakthrough at this time all throughout the world, but it will take a united prayer effort. A rope of three strands is 100 times stronger than one strand. United prayer will bring dramatic, lasting, and powerful results.
The situation around the world can look very bleak with the unsettled reality of terrorist attacks, turbulent weather patterns, earthquakes, famine, and an uncertain future. Each day seems to add more and more complexities to our situation. But this may be our finest hour as Christians if we handle it right. We are living at the most opportune time, the beginning of the harvest. Is this not the hour to step into God’s agenda corporately and break the power of isolationism and disunity? Now is the time to give up our personal agendas in order that we may find God’s overriding plan. We must make time for united prayer. We must seek God and His Kingdom together.
Is prayer not the greatest use of our time and effort? With prayer, will we not see God do more in an hour than you or I could do in days? Will it not help us to focus together and drop all the unnecessary for the greatest good? Will it not overcome our personal struggles and bring increased freedom in our lives and victory in the Church? Will it not help each one of us to rise up in new faith for revival all over the world?
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