Watching with Him in Prayer

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"Prayer without watching is hypocrisy, and watching without prayer is presumption." - unknown

And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation:the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak - Matthew 26.41


(Here is another draft chapter of my up and coming book on Prayer)
The arrival into His Presence at the sweet Mercy Seat is only one aspect of our prayer journey. It is there where it really begins for the worshipper. There the worshipper becomes a warrior in spiritual warfare. It is there in prayer we learn that the weapons of our warfare are not humanly wielded nor carnally commanded. It is prayer that we see in the list of Paul’s armor in Ephesians 6 that is the secret weapon. When we begin to pray we face the onslaught of Satanic forces because Satan believes in the power of prayer more than any of us will ever. We will address this later this week.

"Let us, therefore, forsake the vanity of the crowd and their false teachings and turn back to the word delivered to us from the beginning, "watching unto prayer" and continuing steadfast in fasting, beseeching fervently the all-seeing God "to lead us not into temptation, even as the Lord said, 'The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.'" —Polycarp (69-156). 
Those that learn watching in prayer enter into another phase of prayer. They move from worshipper to warrior. Those that learn learn this secret of watching are most threatening for the forces of the Accuser. You will note that the primary tactic that our Adversary uses to thwart watching-prayer is sleepiness, dullness, lethargy due to the point that the novice in prayer is always looking by sight and waiting for the answers that are self-pleasing and preference oriented. They miss the action because they are looking in the wrong direction and the Enemy slips in unnoticed.
To draw a little perspective to the immense importance of watching prayer Jesus in Matthew 26, in His hour of conflict in prayer he three times goes to His disciples and petitions them to watch in prayer. The battle for the cross was won not at Calvary but in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus was inundated with a flood of demonic hosts to try to steer him off the course to the cross. This is when he asked His disciples to pray. There is something that we see here. Jesus in prayer and battle wanted His disciples engaged in prayer and discernment because of the host of demons pitted against Jesus in the garden to try to kill him. 
When we learn watching-prayer we learn to pray with Jesus in his hour of personal heaviness. There are not many that are asked to pray in this hour with Jesus but his three intimate disciples; Peter, James & John. Watchers in prayer are those few that are God’s “special forces” in warfare that don’t sleep when the rest of the army is asleep in their barracks. That is actually the connotation of the word “watch” in in the original script of Matthew 26.38 - “grēgoreúō”. This word means to be set on the special towers of the walls on the sober lookout for enemy movements and ambushes to the point of sleep deprivation. My wife and I recently were in Puerto Rico and one of the most impressive sights for me was the fortress at San Juan. It guarded the gateway to the Caribbean. From the watch towers at the peak of the fort hundreds & hundreds of miles could be monitored along a 180 degree span along the sea’s horizon for enemy vessels’ movements. This is what is explicitly meant by Jeremiah 51.12 - “Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes: for the Lord hath both devised and done -- that which he spoke against the inhabitants of Babylon” - Jeremiah 51.12. Jesus also referred to this in context to what he said to his Three: “watch and pray that you enter not into temptation”. When we exercise ourselves in watchful-prayer we effectively avoid and escape so much unnecessary temptation.
Ezra, the author of Psalm 119 and the leader of the Jews returning to Jerusalem to rebuild also was a watcher in prayer - when he said his eyes “prevent the night watches” - Psalm 119.148. 
In the case of Gideon - God could not use any of his army except those that looked to the horizon in careful watch as the drank the water from their hands at the brook - Judges 7.6
Therefore, there are those few that as we read in Proverbs 8:34 that are the blessed watchers that receive a measure of wisdom and skill in warfare   - “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.” 
Watching in prayer means we leave the realm of the feeling, the sullenness of the passive human nature and we stir ourselves up in attention watching for the next Word from Christ our Commander and the movement of the foe. The watcher is one who has much insight, compassion, loyalty and wisdom. He may not speak much or express much of his opinion but watches and prays with His Master in the most critical hour. Thus being an often unseen aid in the spectrum of Warfare against the Savior and His Church.