Keep watch and pray… Matthew 26:41 NLT
Would you agree we can’t trust everything we hear?
When my son was young, there was another boy in our neighborhood close to his age who was continually running home to tell his mom my son punched him or did some cry-worthy thing to him. When his mom would tell us and we asked our son, he would insist it was the opposite. Sounds typical, right? Someone wasn’t telling the truth, so we began watching to see what was going on. What we came to realize is that it was the neighbor boy who was hitting our son.
After observing this several times, my husband told our son, “Next time, you better fight back.” That gave him permission, and the next time a battle occurred, we witnessed our son on top of the other boy punching him repeatedly. Naturally, we got a call right away from his mother. I confess that may not have been my proudest love-thy-neighbor moment. But you know what? It never happened again. My son learned to stand up for the truth and the other boy learned being a bully wasn’t worth it anymore.
I learned to be skeptical of blame.
I think we may be in a similar battle in our country and our world. There is much going on we don’t see or understand, and one side blames the other. Unfortunately, we cannot depend on the news to give us the whole, unbiased truth anymore. We are left to do our own research of both sides, hopefully with much prayer and discernment, to see how things add up. If we don’t fact check, we can be like sheep led to the slaughter. In addition, our opinions, without much scrutiny, may help to spread half-truths and false witness (Romans 16:17-18). They certainly do nothing to help.
Can we all just agree none of us have all the facts about what goes on in our government? We shouldn’t be taking sides against each other. We should all be on God’s side … Lord, show me Your way. (click to tweet)
What pictures and conclusions are being drawn for us?
Things aren’t always as they seem. Though we may not be able to know the whole truth about what goes on in our world, should we take what we hear as fact without digging deeper? Without serious prayer? If we don’t take the time and effort to prayerfully seek to know truth, how can we stand up for truth? If we don’t know what’s false, how can we stand against it? (click to tweet)
What kind of world will we leave to our kids?
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. ~1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV
Back to the story of the boys. We began “watching” them, but our neighbor wasn’t watching.
She believed the picture being painted for her without investigating further.
Could this be us sometimes? Could we be too busy, distracted or indifferent to take the time to research what’s being told to us?
We are to “watch and pray” (Matthew 26:41). Not, “watch and criticize” or, “watch and complain” or, “watch and do nothing.” But, “watch and pray.” (click to tweet)
We pray to the One who sees all and knows the whole truth, for He is Truth (John 16:13). In humility, we can look to Him to guide us by His Spirit and provide wisdom from His Word, the Bible. We are to keep watch and fight such battles on our knees in prayer and with the Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:10-18).
And we can love each other and not allow differing messages to divide us. That’s how we’ll help and change our world – much prayer, the Word of God, and love.
I invite you to pray this prayer with me today and in the days ahead. I also encourage you to use the verses mentioned as a study in your personal quiet time.
Heavenly Father, we are concerned for all that’s going on in our world and in our country. We don’t know what or who to believe. Who will rise up for us against wicked men; who will defend us against evildoers? We have no one but You, Lord (Psalm 94:16).
Because we don’t know what’s true or false, we don’t know what to pray, but we thank you that Your Holy Spirit intercedes for us as we look to You and Your help (Romans 8:26-27). You know all and see all, for nothing in all creation is hidden from Your sight and to You all will give an account (Hebrews 4:13). We pray for you to give us wisdom and discernment (Proverbs 2:6-8), as well as peace to calm our fears (John 14:27). We pray for you to give wisdom to our president and government leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-4) and guide them by Your righteousness and justice (Psalm 89:14). We pray for Truth to win over evil, and for those who may be plotting in the dark against us to be brought to light (Job 12:22). May wicked people who dig a pit for us fall into it themselves (Proverbs 26:27).
Lord, be with those who are for us, for our country and for You, and help them to succeed (Romans 8:31). Lord, our trust is in You and You only, for with You all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). You are our hope (Matthew 12:21). Give us help against the enemy, for man’s help is useless (Psalm 60:11).
Lord, we confess we have allowed sin to infest our land like a plague. We ask You in Your mercy and grace to forgive our sins and heal our land (2Chron7:14). We pray people’s hearts turn back to You and Your ways, the only ways that work for mankind.(click to tweet) We pray for awakening. We pray for revival.
In Jesus’ Mighty Name. Amen.
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Romans 13:11-12
Thank you for stopping by! I hope you were blessed and are committed to fervent prayer for our families, our country and our world. I would love to hear from you in the comments.
As we “keep watch,” we realize the need for more prayer – more fervent, committed, constant prayer. This is why I wrote the book, Pursuing Prayer – Being Effective in a Busy World. This book will help you understand prayer, inspire you to want to pray more and help to make your prayers more effective. You can find out more here or here.
You can also receive my FREE download, “Ten Prayer Tips for Busy Days” here.
Watch short video that introduces this blog here.
At first glance of the picture you posted the first thing I saw was separation. Sides taken. After looking at the picture Again it became clear that what I saw was not truth but just a picture of men working on a project! What I saw first was it because of what you had said about taking sides. My mind was limited to that? I had to take a minute a really look at the picture again to see the truth!
Those are such good perspectives, Kathy. I love how we all see different things. What I saw was something that looks one way, but isn’t really what it looks like. A “picture” being painted for us to make us see what the painter wants us to see. “Things aren’t always as they seem.” Lots of food for thought.