Watching and Praying
In our last article we saw that we are now in the season of the end-time harvest, or the fulfillment of the feast of tabernacles. We also saw that God was going to remove the tares from the wheat in the church at this time. This week we are going to see what we need to do to be ready for the great outpouring of the Spirit without measure in the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles.
Mark 13:32-37 (KJV) But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
Here the Lord Jesus tells us of how to prepare and be ready for His coming in the end-time. We are told that we will not know the day or the hour of His coming. However we are supposed to discern the times and the seasons of His coming (Luke 12:56, 1 Thess. 5: 1-4).
It is instructive to note that His coming will be in 3 phases:
He is coming in us in the perfection and fullness of Christ with the outpouring of the Spirit without measure (Eph. 4:13-15, John 14:12, 3: 34).
He is coming for us in the “rapture” or “catching up” (1 Thess. 4: 17) of the church not having spot, blemish, wrinkle or any such thing (Eph. 5: 26).
He is coming with us for the millennial reign at the end of the ‘great tribulation’ (Matt. 24: 21, Rev. 17: 14, 20: 4).
In each of these comings the exact day or hour of His coming will not be known. However the times and seasons of His coming will be known by the spiritually discerning.
Why watch and pray?
We are to watch and pray so that we will be spiritually alert and discerning to know the times and seasons of His coming so that we will be prepared for the day of His coming. This is so that that day will not overtake us as a thief in the night (1 Thess 5:4).
We are now in the season of the 1st. phase of His coming: His coming in us.
What will happen to the Christian who is not prepared, who that day overtakes as a thief in the night?
Such Christians, at best, will first fall away from the faith temporarily and then be restored later but with loss of reward (2 Thess. 2:3, 1 Cor. 3: 13-15).
At worst such Christians will fall away from the faith and permanently go back to a life of sin and be eternally damned in hell fire (Heb. 6: 4-8, 10: 26-31).
It is for these reasons that we should now be watching and praying so that the day of His coming in us will not overtake us a thief in the night.
How to watch and pray
We pray by praying daily in the spirit, making at least 1 hour a goal, which we should gradually attain if we cannot do it immediately.
It is easy to get weary or distracted in waiting for the coming of the Lord because of the apparent success, promotion and prosperity of the proud and wicked (Mal. 3: 15). It is instructive to note that Christ appeared to at least 500 (1 Cor. 15: 6) of His disciples after His resurrection and instructed them to wait in Jerusalem watching and praying until the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. However only 120 (Acts 1: 15) of them were faithful to be present on the day of Pentecost. It is interesting that Jesus did not let them know that it was only a 10 day wait from His ascension to the day of Pentecost since He had been teaching them for 40 days (Acts 1: 3) since His resurrection. The over 380 disciples could not wait for just 10 days because they were not watching and praying and so did not have the revelation and strength to stay the course. As it was then so shall it be now: it is those who are watching and praying that will be accounted worthy (Luke 21: 36) to be partakers of the first of the first fruits of the outpouring of the Spirit without measure in the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles.
So it is as we watch and pray we will see what God is doing and be strengthened and encouraged to wait in the ‘upper room’ (Acts. 1: 13) of prayer until we are endued with power from on high in the day of His coming in us.