Watch and Pray

Some wonderful wisdom from Stefanie again today…


Awhile back as we were eating breakfast one of the children told me, “It was going to be a bad day.”

I knew what she meant. It was one of those days where there was a lot to do, and she felt overwhelmed.
I told her, “No, we were going to make it a good day.”

She looked at me, and asked, “What do you mean?”

As I went on to talk to her about having a good attitude, being thankful we had work to do, a house to clean, clothes to wash, food to cook, and so on what she probably didn’t realize, was that I was talking at myself too. It got me thinking through the day though about what a difference attitude makes, I can choose whether to submit to whatever the Lord has given me to do that day and even give thanks for it, or I can feel sorry for myself, complain, and so on. I can pray before I start my work in the morning that the Lord will help me, but after that I need to watch my thoughts, attitude, and what I say and do. In other words I have to work at it. I love what Ann Voskamp says in this post (actually I love the whole post!):

“One foot in front of the other and one murmured thanks after another and underneath the everlasting arms will hold.”

Our conversation made me think about the verse “Watch and pray.” I’ve shared so many posts on prayer, but I’ve been thinking about what it means to watch.
In real life what does it look like? For me I think it mainly comes down to what I said above about submission, giving thanks, realizing that this is the way I can serve Christ now, and that everything done for
Him will be remembered and counts for eternity – and that there can be fulfillment in this because this is how the Lord has called me to
serve Him today.
And, what Matthew Henry says about keeping the heart seems to also apply here:
“..keep out bad thoughts; keep up good thoughts; keep the affections upon right objects and in due bound….. there are many ways of keeping things—by care, by strength, by calling in help, and we must use them all in keeping our hearts.”

Calling in help would be praying before I go into a situation that I know will be hard, or maybe painful….and maybe asking a trusted friend to pray for me. When I faithfully do all these things I find that the Lord does help, He gives grace to go in strength of the Lord God…..so that by evening I realize He’s given strength for yet another day.

I looked up Matthew Henry on the subject and here is what I found:

“Your duty is to watch
and pray….
that you may be
engaged to stand always upon your guard; Take ye heed of every
thing that would indispose you…..
Watch
and pray, that ye enter not into temptation,
There was an hour of
temptation drawing on, and very near; the troubles of Christ were
temptations to his followers to disbelieve and distrust him, to
deny and desert him, and renounce all relation to him. There
was danger of their entering into the temptation, as into a snare
or trap; of their entering into a parley with it, or a good opinion
of it, of their being influenced by it, and inclining to comply
with it; which is the first step toward being overcome by it. He therefore exhorts them to watch and pray; Watch with me, and
pray with me.
“Watch yourselves, and pray
yourselves. Watch and pray against this present temptation
to drowsiness and security; pray that you may watch;
beg of God by his grace to keep you awake, now that there is
occasion.” When we are drowsy in the worship of God, we should
pray, as a good Christian once did, “The Lord deliver me from this
sleepy devil!” Lord, quicken thou me in thy way, Or, “Watch
and pray against the further temptation you may be assaulted with;
watch and pray lest this sin prove the inlet of many more.” When we find ourselves entering into temptation, we have need
to watch and pray.”
 

Matthew Henry

 

Stefanie blogs over at Stefanie’s Pleasant Places. She also is a mother’s helper for our family and truly one of our family!