Hour Watch

Journal Entry // February 9, 2022

And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour?

Matthew 26:40 ESV

Oftentimes I identify with Peter on so many levels. Sometimes I can see myself in his enthusiasm and brashness. Other times I see my own weakness in his failings and mistakes. In this passage Jesus has just told all the disciples that they would all fall away. Peter, leading the way, makes a boisterous commitment to stay by his side, even if that means death. Jesus, in his sorrow, pulls away from the crowd and separates his disciples, taking Peter, James, and John with him to watch and pray.

Isn’t this where I am called as well? This time of history between the comings of Jesus. Watch and pray. This is a word for me as I walk this life of faith in obedience to Christ. I confess that I am too often like the the disciples here. I find myself sleeping when I should be watching and praying. Even a single hour’s watching is difficult.

Why do I find this difficult? Vigilance, intentionally, steadfastness, perseverance, commitment, purpose. To watch and pray requires all of this with increasing measure. Our enemy is relentless in his pursuit of destroying my soul. Yet, I find myself sleeping. Even knowing this truth about the enemy, I still would rather sleep.

To watch and pray is an arduous thing. Watching involves a consistent vigilance of attention. Like a scout looking for signs on the trail. Like a soldier in the watchtower. Watching requires me to be sharp and at attention. It requires me to examine my heart and mind repeatedly. Always on the guard for temptation and sin. Always discerning that lingering doubt and darkness that my innermost is harboring.

And as I watch and discover these enemies within, I take them to Jesus through prayer. I’m watching and praying with him. Just like the passage, Jesus is there with the three watching and praying. So he is with me. Jesus is before the Father interceding for me. Praying for me. This is the call to awaken.

So I watch by daily taking up my cross, denying myself, and following Christ. I am not alone. Not only is Jesus with me, but he has placed others in my circle to encourage and challenge me. The people God has placed in my life are there as companions along this walk. We can watch and pray together. Strengthening one another and shaking off the drowsiness that may come. Pointing each other back to Jesus. Watching and praying together with Jesus.

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