The Urgent Call to Watchful Prayer
- Debbie Przybylski Intercessors Arise
- Published Sep 10, 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?
Extravagant, united, and watchful prayer will bring tremendous breakthrough in the heavens that have been hindered in the past by satanic opposition.Corporate prayer will make the reaching of souls easier and with much greater fruitfulness. Fervent united prayer will bring days of harvest in nations that have previously been closed to the Gospel message. Intercessory leader and author, James Goll, stress the need for a united prayer force. He says:
"May a united prayer force arise in this hour across the body of Christ to make history before the throne of God and build up a wall of protection against the forces of evil. Let the light of God's power and love permeate this present darkness and may His glory shine from sea to shining sea."
We are now at a gate, a place where we have to face the reality of the days we are living in. We can stay where we are and do nothing or we as Christians can rise up, prioritize united, watchful prayer and come to a new door of opportunity—a place of advancement—a pathway to enlargement and harvest. Nation after nation is facing feelings of uncertainty, fear, and hopelessness. But you and I can rise up at this very time with the greatest weapon of all, prayer, and see God do mighty, supernatural things right in our midst. God can turn around the downward course of any nation and bring revival, but we need to be persistent in repentant and watchful prayer.
Look at what God did during World War II when an intercessor in Great Britian changed the course of history through prayer. Rees Howells, a powerful intercessor wrote in his diary on September 12, 1940:
"We prayed last night that London would be defended and that the enemy would fail to break through, and God answered prayer. Unless God can get hold of this devil and bind him, no man is safe. If we have protection for our properties, why not get protection for the country? What wonderful days these are."
Paul’s Urgent Watchfulness in Prayer
"Without persistence, prayers may go unanswered. Importunity is made up of the ability to hold on, to continue, to wait with relaxed and unrelaxable grasp, restless desire, and restful patience. Importunate prayer is not an incidental occurrence, but the main thing; not a performance, but a passion; not an option, but a necessity." E. M. Bounds
The Apostle Paul is one of our great example of persistent and watchful prayer. Even though he was extremely busy, he prioritized the urgent call to watchful and persevering prayer for the churches. He believed in the power of God to answer prayer even in the most difficult situations. Look at his example. He prayed continually, watchfully, and unceasingly night and day for the churches. Paul did not give up.
- "God… is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times" (Romans 1:9).
- "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" (Romans 12:12).
- "I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers" (Ephesians 1:16).
- "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for you, I always pray with joy…"(Philippians 1:3-4).
- "Praying always for you" (Colossians 1:3, NASB).
- "For this reason since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you" (Colossians 1:9).
- "Night and day we pray most earnestly" (1 Thessalonians 3:10).
- "With this in mind, we constantly pray for you"(2 Thessalonians 1:11).
- I thank God… as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers (2 Timothy 1:3).
God is inviting you to enter into urgent watchfulness in prayer.His heart is that we would be watchful in our prayers. The Holy Spirit is the only one who can arrest our attention and shut down our busyness so that we can hear His urgent call for fervent prayer. Nobody can touch our hearts with a burning vision and a determination to see God’s Kingdom come on earth unless it is born by the Holy Spirit. History belongs to the intercessors. Let us watch the Gospel advance as we pray.
The following is a prayer alert given by 4 well-known intercessory leaders in America. See this urgent call for prayer for the U.S., Israel, and the Middle East. There is a wake-up call throughout the nations—urgent days calls for urgent and watchful prayer. Let us arise as God's watchmen for such an hour as this.
Join or like my Intercessors Arise International Facebook Page for regular prayer quotes, international prayer alerts, and motivation in prayer. This is the 12th anniversary of Intercessors Arise! It started one week after 9/11. You may want to watch this powerful video called Intercession.
"If men would pray as they ought to pray, the marvels of the past would be more than reproduced. The Gospel would advance with a facility and power it has never known. Doors would be thrown open to the Gospel, and the Word of God would have a conquering force rarely if every known before." E. M. Bounds
*This Article Published 9/10/2013