It is interesting how my idea of “sleeping in” has changed recently. After a week of being to work between 5:30 and 6:00 AM, it felt good to sleep in until 7:30 AM before heading to the church to get the weekend cleaning started before our men’s breakfast meeting. The morning devotion focused on what it means from God’s perspective to “be on guard” as a man. The idea behind the wording it to stand watch. The same wording is used as Jesus asked Peter, James, and John to “watch and pray” in the garden before His arrest. The best way to guard our heart and mind from the temptations that seek to destroy our relationship with God is to constantly be watching and praying.
For many of us, just as in the garden of Gethsemane, our spirit is willing but our flesh is weak. It appears the enemy has a better understanding of the importance of watching and praying than many Christians. In leading a prayer ministry, I find many people who want to grow in the practice of prayer but fail to realize the spiritual battle taking place in which the enemy does everything possible to keep us from praying, not only as we ought to but even as we want to. Standing guard takes work and discipline. When we think of watching and praying as a spiritual form of standing guard, we begin to better understand the work and discipline necessary. It is my prayer that we be on guard against every form of evil by our commitment to watch and pray at all times.
After the morning breakfast I spent some time in the office catching up on writing tasks and continued preparing for the Impact Prayer Ministry representation at the upcoming Christian Camp Leaders’ Conference. The office work and building cleaning took me through the early afternoon. As I worked, the tree line outside my office window was filled with the activity of a variety of birds and an opportunistic squirrel that wanted to empty a recently hung bird feeder. It was fun to watch the squirrel hang from above the feeder and enjoy a free lunch.