On your walls, O Jerusalem,
I have set watchmen;
all the day and all the night
they shall never be silent.
You who put the Lord in remembrance,
take no rest,
and give him no rest
until he establishes Jerusalem
and makes it a praise in the earth.
My dear watching friends,
As we enter another “high watch day”, I want to give you some encouragement and to pray for you. As the days turn into weeks, the weeks turn into months, and the months turn into years (for some of us!), it’s easy to get distracted with the cares, concerns, and lures of this world. Perhaps even easier, we can fall prey to melancholy – when our eyes are open to the stain of sin in the world, it’s hard not to see everything as corrupted! We know of, and long for, the perfection we were created to enjoy. It’s like the black claws of the evil one have torn into everything that God made “very good”, and everything is broken. How it feels like we have overstayed our welcome on earth! The world wants to boot us out, and we just want to go home. I know it’s hard some days, when all we are wondering is – “is it today? is it today? is it today?” – but we are called to persist – to occupy until He comes!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
It’s the last leg of the race. Push ahead so as to win the prize! It’s in our grasp. The finish line is near. Gather every ounce of strength you have left, and pour it into serving our King. Draw near to God like never before! Ask Him – plead with Him – to sustain you. Get on your knees and pray, children of Zion!
I hope we hear the precious call of Jesus today – “Come up here!”. I hope the trumpet sounds and calls us to assembly. In the meantime, while we watch, let’s cast off everything that distracts us from Jesus!
God wants to be first and foremost in our lives, not out of control, but out of LOVE. He loves you so very much that he wants you to bask in His love. He wants you to be enveloped in it, comforted by it, reassured by it, and empowered by it. This is why His greatest commandment is to love Him best, first, and most of all. This is how you will experience His love! Everything in your heart that is a barrier between you and God, today is the day to get rid of it. Release it all to Jesus!
How we long for You. Thoughts of You consume our minds and our hearts, and we desire nothing more than to be in Your presence. Nothing in this world compares with what You have prepared for us! We believe that You have readied a place for us, and that You will call us home to be with You soon. The Spirit within us cries – “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
It is the desire of our hearts that Your kingdom come and Your will be done as it is in heaven. We long to see the restoration of all things, and groan along with creation as we wait. Lead us not into the upcoming time of trouble, but deliver us from the evil one. We trust in Your goodness and Your mercy towards those who love You.
Please forgive our thoughts, words, and deeds, where we have wandered from Your will. We long to cast off this body of sin and death, so that we will no longer wrestle with doing what we don’t want to do, and not doing what we ought to do. We recognize that You, and You alone, are our Savior. We come before You and humbly bow our knees. Please clothe us with Your righteousness, and wash our hearts as white as snow. Thank You for Your faithfulness, which endures throughout the generations. Hide Your word in our hearts, that we might not sin against You.
Jesus, we pray for conviction in our hearts over anything that doesn’t please You. Reveal to us if we are harboring secret sins or temptations. Everything that is hidden in darkness, bring into Your glorious light. Shine Your Spirit in our hearts to break the chains that bind us! Give us Your power to defeat the sins that entangle us. Addictions, gossip, lies, coveting, jealousy, rage, pornography, lust, unforgiveness, theft, idols, gluttony, pride, and envy – we command the power of these over us to be broken in the mighty Name of Jesus Christ! The Name at which every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that You are Lord. We take these sins and we nail them to the cross of Christ. Fill us to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit that there is no room in our hearts for anything else!
We pray for opportunity to witness to those who may not have a saving knowledge of You. Please open the eyes of our loved ones to see You. Open their hearts to understand the depth of their sinfulness and their need for Your salvation! We plead with You, Lord! Save them!!!! We know You hear our cries, and we know Your hand moves when we gather together in prayer. So tonight, right now, we all stand together in unity, praying for the salvation of those You have impressed upon our hearts.
Teach us to be good ambassadors for Your kingdom. In this world of ungodliness, where people are calling good evil, and evil good, may we be beacons on a hill – shining the light of the gospel clearly and brightly. Give us discernment in these dark days. Let us not lose sight of our main purpose, which is following You and making disciples of all nations. We want to love you best, more than everyone and everything else, and to pour out Your love to those around us. Flow through us! Guide us into abiding in You. Ripen the fruit of the Spirit in us – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. As we put You first in our lives, we trust You to provide our daily needs.
Lead us into Your truth, and teach us by Your Spirit. Teach us to fear You, for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. Open our minds and our hearts to the knowledge and understanding of the scriptures. Thank You for Your word, it is more precious to us than diamonds.
In Jesus Name we pray,
Stand firm, my dear brothers and sisters. He is near, even at the gates!
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. So we do not lose heart. Though the outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
(2 Corinthians 4:1,6-10,16-18)