So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming (Matthew 24:42 NLT).
Keep watch. According to Jesus, “keeping watch” is my daily job description. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But in our busy, noisy world, keeping watch can get lost in the shuffle. I have to be alert. Attentive. Mindful that Jesus is present. Constantly aware that His Holy Spirit is at always at work…in and around me.
Nobody talks more than the Holy Spirit. No one acts with greater power. But I will blow right past the invisible world of the Spirit if I am not alert. Watchful. Spiritual lethargy is a roadblock to effective prayer.
Here are three simple tips that help me keep watch on a daily basis:
- I carve out time each morning to study God’s Word and pray. When I’m faithful with the “morning launch,” I find I become more familiar with His voice, more watchful for signs of His work all around me.
- As I read the Bible, I notice the verse(s) that seems to “light up” and speak to my heart for that day. I reflect on this “watchword,” mindful of how I can weave it into my prayers. I copy this verse on a card so I can refer to it often and pray it for those on my list.
- I weave prayer triggers, visual reminders to pray, throughout my day. A hummingbird reminds me to pray for my granddaughter, Anna Grace. Dolphins are my trigger for Michael. Leopard sparks prayer for my friend Lisa. You get the point. Most important, I watch for answers to my prayers, thanking God when I see movement, however small, in the things for which I’ve prayed.
In the book of Acts, Luke reminds us to keep watch for Jesus’ return to earth. After His resurrection and ascension up to heaven, two angels appeared to the watching disciples and said:
Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11)
I wonder if I would keep watch more closely if I knew Jesus’s return was imminent. How about you? What if you thought He might come back today… or tomorrow? A watchful mindset helps us to stay focused on the eternal…which is how we should live anyway.
Begin today to keep watch. Become more intentional about reading God’s Word and listening to His voice. Remember, He is always speaking. Are you listening? Watch for signs of God at work all around you.Are you keeping watch for His return?
Psalm 5:3: “Morning after morning I lay my requests before you, Lord, and eagerly watch for the answers.”