Watch And Pray

“Watch and pray”. These were the words of our blessed Lord to his disciples as He went forth to travail and anguish, praying in the garden over the cup that was to be His to drink for His people. However, notice the disciples did not heed this command, but due to the weakness of their flesh and the lateness of the hour, they fell asleep. What was the result of their disobedience here? When the hour of trial came, they were overcome with fear, and ultimately they forsook Christ, and fled away. Consider even Peter, who, before he leaves the Master, draws his sword to fight. But this was not courage nor strength, it was a manifestation of self-reliance and self-sufficiency. He thought he had strength enough in himself to stand and fight, although he did not watch and pray. Was the Lord pleased with this? Did not Peter receive a rebuke for this attack empowered by self-reliance? So let us consider well the command to watch and pray, lest we come to the hour of trial and temptation and find ourselves as they did, overcome with fear to the point of forsaking Christ, or overcome with self-reliance and confidently depending upon our own strength.

Watch – To watch means to give careful attention to; to keep on the lookout for an assault by the enemy; to be giving attention to any sign of advance from the opposition. Watchfulness also includes giving attention to weak and venerable spots in the defenses, and deploying the means necessary to make these places strong and defensible. Consider how small a breech can lead to the destruction of a fortress. Have not many a mighty empire been brought to its knees by a handful of capable soldiers seeking their way through the smallest gaps in the walls? So the command to watch is not only to keep an attentive eye out on the horizon, but also to give attention to weakness and vulnerabilities in the fortress of your soul. An attack may come upon you suddenly and with full force, as it did upon the disciples in the garden that dreadful night, or it may sneak its way in through the smallest breech, like it did to David as he walked upon his rooftop in the coolness and comfortableness of the day. It is also true that most advancements of the enemy come in the cover of night, when there is little light to see and much heaviness in the eyes. I do not say that watchfulness is easy, only that it is necessary. Fall asleep if you will, but you will awaken to find you’ve been overthrown.

Pray – The command to watch, is joined inseparably with the command to pray, and not without reason. Let us not forget, that watchfulness is not a call to self-reliance, for then Peter would have been commended for relying upon his own strength to deliver and defend. The command is joined to prayer because only the mighty power of God can defend and build up. It is in watchfulness the advancement of the enemy and the weakness of the defenses are discovered, but it is in prayer that the power to resist and defend is given. It is in prayer that self-reliance is put to death, and absolute dependence upon God’s strength and graces are confessed. Do we not see this in the Lord’s travail in the garden that night? As the cup of wrath was placed before Him, as the hands of sinners were enraged against Him, as the abandonment of the disciples was just before Him, He went off to pray. Anyone who is truly watching, will quickly turn to praying. For in watching we come to realize our desperate need for God to be our refuge and our strength, and our utter inability on our own to do anything to fight or defend.

So, dear Christian, watch and pray. Do not let the weakness of the flesh and the lateness of the hour lull you to sleep, when the Lord calls you to watch and pray. Be assured, that while you enjoy your time of sleeping, your enemy is prowling seeking someone to devour. Resist Him! Stand firm! And how will you resist and stand? By watchfulness and prayer. Do you see the advancement of the enemy? Do you see those weaknesses and vulnerable breeches in the walls? Run to pray. Put away every things that would distract the watchful eye. Cast off everything that hinders prayer. Flee from self-reliance, cast yourself upon God alone. For He gives strength to the weary, and those who are faint He revives. Watch and Pray.

Relevance and Preference or Reverence and Prescription: The Posture of True Worship

From the Pastor's Desk

One of the quickest ways to get “Christians” arguing with one another, causing one another, and ultimately writing one another off is to talk about worship style. One person believes he may worship in whatever way seems best to him, while another only wants to worship by singing hymns, and others still meet in the middle with a praise band, or choir. Some calk this issue up to nothing more than the popular cliché, “to each their own”, but really they don’t believe that. This is exemplified in the truthfulness of the opening statement, namely that fighting and name-calling begin when one’s preferred worship style is condemned. What is it that should determine the way we worship? Relevance or reverence? Preference or prescription?

The first thing to establish is Christ’s rule and ownership over the Church. Acts 20:28 tells us very plainly the Church is not independent of God, but…

View original post 4,877 more words

Seeing The Big Picture

From the Pastor's Desk


When I was in college, I had the privilege of spending 6 months overseas engaging and evangelizing unreached peoples: Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and people following various earth religions. It was my first experience with anyone outside of western North Carolina; in fact traveling for this trip was my first time even riding in an airplane! During this time my faith grew beyond measure, I experienced God in His Word like I never had before, and I shared the gospel with people who had never heard.

One of the most profound things I learned however was when I arrived back to my hometown in NC. While it was in fact true, I found it to be an ugly truth plaguing the American Church, specifically rural church in the southern United States. What was it? The idea that the world is only as big as one’s backyard; the idea that the church…

View original post 1,038 more words

Dealing With Doubt 

From the Pastor's Desk

This past week, at Smith Chapel Church, we addressed the nature of the new birth as we examined John 3:1-15. It is vitally important to note that the discourse given by Jesus concerning the new birth was directly related to false faith. We noted this connection in the language between the end of John 2, and the opening of John 3.

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” John 2:23-25

“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know…

View original post 2,251 more words

Rejoicing in the Midst of Suffering

From the Pastor's Desk


Over the past several weeks, I have spoken with several of our members, I have heard multiple prayer requests and I have seen tears flowing down suffering faces. People have lost loved ones, people have found out they have illnesses, some have wayward children and family members, many have issues with their spouses and marriages and all of these things reveal a single reality: there is real suffering among us.

When we are in the midst of suffering, our first response, and often the attitude that grows if our suffering lasts longer than a few days, is to abandon the possibility of joy and doubt the goodness of God. If it is true that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, how is this possible in the midst of suffering?

In Romans 5, the Apostle Paul begins with some of the most joyful words…

View original post 1,212 more words

Abide in Me

What does it mean to abide? Some thought to consider following yesterday’s message.

From the Pastor's Desk

This past Lord’s Day morning, we were brought face to face with the great reality of coming to Jesus; namely that one must not come to Him for stuff. We saw this exemplified by the disciples who had left John upon hearing, “Behold, the Lamb of God”, and followed Jesus. As Jesus turns and sees them following, He asks them, “What are you seeking?”. They answer simply, “Rabbi, where are you staying?”. As we examined this exchange, we learned they were in reality asking, “Where is it that you abide, because we want to abide with you.” Their motive for following was simple, to know Jesus by abiding with Him. In fact, one of those who heard John and followed Jesus was Andrew, who found his brother and shared with him, “We have found the Messiah”. The pattern is clear: hear who He is, come with the motivation of knowing…

View original post 976 more words

Evangelism: The Christian Responsibility, The Christian Privilege

From the Pastor's Desk


Here is a simple outline based on this week’s bible study:

“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”                  Matthew 28:18-20

  1. Why do a study on Evangelism? –
    1. The glory of God and the fullness of joy- Isaiah 43:6-7; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Psalm 16:11
    2. Obedience to the Great Commission; the Christian responsibility –  Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 10:13-14
    3. The purpose of salvation; the call to a divine privilege – John 15:16; John 20:21; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
    4. The World’s greatest need-  2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; John 3:36;  …

View original post 173 more words

It is finished… Now what?

From the Pastor's Desk


What a glorious reality to wake up to this morning: Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. It is my prayer that this has captivated your hearts since yesterday morning. Hopefully in the busyness of Sunday afternoons you were able to find some time to rest and meditate upon the seriousness of your sin, and the greatness of the Lamb who alone has power to take away sin. Remember He does this by taking sin away from us, and upon Himself.

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live  to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

We were also able to rejoice in the truth that He not only takes something away from us, but He also gives us something, namely His Spirit. In fact, He baptizes…

View original post 648 more words

Website Powered by

Up ↑