To watch and pray means to be awake and watchful throughout the day so that we can see when sin is waiting at the door of our heart, wanting to grab hold of us. (Genesis 4:7.) It means that we have a constant connection with God; that we go to Him for power to overcome all the sin we are tempted to.
“Watch and pray. Then you won't fall into sin when you are tempted. The spirit is willing. But the body is weak.” Matthew 26:41 (NIRV).
We must be awake and watchful. Satan is always waiting for an opportunity to come in. If we are not watchful for even a moment, it gives him the moment he has been waiting for. Satan’s whole desire is to turn us away from God. If we are watching and praying, then we can always resist him, firm in our faith, knowing that our brotherhood throughout the world goes through the same kinds of suffering. (1 Peter 5:8-9.)
We have sinful lusts and desires in our human nature that want to draw us towards things that are not pleasing to God. We can only overcome them with God’s power. Jesus experienced the same thing when He lived on earth. He had to pray with strong crying and tears to His Father. He too had to be awake and watchful so sin couldn’t get into His heart. (Hebrews 5:7.)
We need to have a connection with God from the time we wake up until the time we go to sleep again. Of course, we can't be on our knees all day, and we have many things to do, but we need to have a relationship with God so that we can always go to Him for the help that we need, to find His will and find the strength to do it. The weapons that Jesus used, in order to overcome when He was tempted, were prayer and God’s Word. Satan has no weapon that can defeat the weapons God gives us.
There is a verse in a children’s song that says,
“Your heart is like a garden where
Jesus plants His seeds.
Watch out so Satan doesn’t come and
plant some ugly weeds.”
When we are watchful and awake, we will be able to see when Satan is trying to “plant some ugly weeds” in our heart. Then we need to pray to God to help us keep out all those evil seeds so that they don’t start growing in our hearts. They won’t always look like big, obvious sins. Often Satan will try to sneak in with “harmless” things, little sins that don’t seem so serious. It is important to be watchful so that we are able to see that all those little temptations are very dangerous.
Just think of all the situations we come into and the conversations we take part in. What thoughts do we allow to come into our minds during these times? Be awake and watchful for Satan and his ugly weeds!
“In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.” Philippians 4:8 (GNT). If we do exactly what is written in this verse every day, then Satan has no chance to get in.
No matter what we are doing, we need to watch and pray so that we can keep our hearts pure and clean. God has called us to such a wonderful life! We must not allow anything to come in and spoil what has been given to us.