Pardon Me -- You're Not Paying Attention!
And Jesus came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matt.26:40-41
Dr. Clinard was leading our class on Pastoral Ministry at Hardin-Simmons University. I was a Bible major, and it was an honor to be under his teaching. But this was a spring afternoon, and I had really enjoyed lunch; I kept nodding off and jerking awake. He came near my face, snapped his fingers, and said loudly, "Wake up!" Embarrassed, I sat up and kept alert for the remainder of the class, and have never forgotten his rebuke.
During perhaps the most difficult and pain-filled moments of his life, Jesus needed his guys. The Passover meal done, he was in his regular spot to pray, the Garden of Gethsemane. Facing his coming arrest, torture and crucifixion, he needed help and support to complete the task before him. His entire life had led to this night and the following day. So he prayed. Matthew wrote Jesus was "sorrowful and troubled." Mark wrote Jesus was "greatly distressed and troubled." Luke wrote Jesus was "in agony...his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground." And his men were sleeping. They were unaware of the situation, slumbering while the Savior wrestled in prayer with his destiny.
Three times in Matthew 26 Jesus said to Peter, "watch." Gregorio in Greek, meaning to watch, give strict attention to, take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one. I believe it's safe to say they didn't "watch." The opportunity came and went without the Eleven's input.
We are in a perilous and pivotal point in our history. God is saying loudly to the church in America, "WAKE UP! CAN YOU NOT WATCH ( gregorio) WITH ME ONE HOUR? The
example of Peter and the apostles is in Scripture for us to avoid. We must intensify our prayer, personally and corporately, and we must do it now.
The early church in Acts 2 was strong in four areas (Acts 2:42) -- in Bible study, in sharing (fellowship), in eating together in homes, and in prayer. Let's face it, most of us are weak in prayer. Our gospel is weak, God is waking us up, and I believe he is repeating Jesus' words to us, "could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
If you're not praying more, and more intensely than pre-covid, you're not paying attention.
If the state of the American church doesn't grieve you, you're not paying attention.
If you aren't regularly on your face asking for God's mercy, you're not paying attention.
If you don't seek his face for revival, you are slumbering at exactly the wrong time.
If you haven't gathered with others to pray together, you're part of the problem.
Our health, our economy, our election processes, and the future of our great nation are in danger. As followers of Jesus Christ, our response is not to gripe, complain, protest -- nor to fatalistically go about our business as though we are helpless. Our fervent, earnest prayers accomplish much (James 5:16). Start a prayer meeting to intercede, watch, repent and declare God's mercy over our land. Attend to prayer as if it matters more now than ever --- cause it does. Pay Attention. Wake up. Pray.
Shifting into a higher "prayer gear," Perry Floyd
ps -- if this causes guilt in your soul, you have misunderstood. It is to cause prayer.