This week we will
continue our consideration of Ephesians 6:18:
"With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this
be on the alert with all perseverance
and petition for all the saints..."
is Our Primary Goal
Think for one moment how radically our lives would be transformed if all the
time and energy we wasted on vain imaginations was turned into focused
prayer? This is what the apostle is appealing for in this verse, and it
should be a primary goal of every believer to pray in the Spirit at all
And Paul goes on to say, “with this in
view, be on the alert with all perseverance.”
One of the designations of a prophet in the Old
Testament was the “watchman.” It was the watchman’s job to be awake and
discerning. It was also the job of the watchman to pray, as we see in such
Scriptures as Isaiah 62:6-7:
your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night
they will never keep silent. You who
remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves;
And give Him no rest until He
establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise
in the earth."
What Does a Watchman Do?
When I was in the military, we had military police and others whose job it
was to be on guard at all times. However, everyone had to stand watch at
appointed times, regardless of what his job was. Everyone was trained to
stand watch and knew that one of the worst offenses was to sleep while on
watch. The lives of many people were depending on the watchmen to keep
awake. In times of a war, a watchman who slept while on duty could
jeopardize the entire nation. Therefore, the penalty for such neglect was
most severe. We should take this calling to be watchmen for our times with
the same seriousness.
There are some whose calling is to be a watchman on the walls of their
church, ministry, or city. However, this is something that every believer
should be trained in, and all should be engaged in the watch to some degree.
Regardless of whether this is our primary calling in the Lord, or whether we
are just called on to do it during rotations, it should be something we take
with the utmost seriousness. We will not know until eternity how many of the
devil’s attacks worked because those who were called to watch were sleeping.
Understanding Delegated Authority
Of course, God never sleeps, but the mature believer understands delegated
authority—God has delegated authority to us, and He will not intervene
unless asked. The devil cannot get a shot in while God is not looking, but
God will let him hit us if we are being irresponsible. This is one of the
ways the Lord matures us so He can trust us with more authority.
Because ministries have spheres of authority, to be an effective watchman we
must know our realm of authority. If an infantryman in the army is called on
to be a guard on a skirmish line in the trenches, but he keeps trying to see
what was going on in the whole war, the enemy could most likely sneak up on
him. I appreciate the United States military doctrine where they try to keep
all of their men generally informed as to what is happening. However, it is
not good for a corporal to be overly concerned about the big picture
strategy of the war.
Focusing On Our Realm of Authority
If the Lord has made us a watchman for a home group, we need to take this
most seriously. It is good to have a general picture of what is going on
throughout the church, and to pray for other things as well, but we must
focus on our realm of authority if we are going to be properly on the alert
for it. Those who are faithful on one level will probably get promoted to
larger realms of authority. There is a point at which you are called to be a
watchman for a movement, or even the whole church. At this point, you really
cannot spend too much time praying for individuals without being kept from
your main purpose.
In the verse we have been studying for the last two weeks, Paul exhorts us
to pray at all times for all of the saints. This is an appropriate prayer
for all believers. It is right that we should keep our vision for all of
God’s people, and pray for them. However, there is another way that we
should take this also. We are called to pray for people, not just places,
events, programs, etc. We must never forget that one person in unity with
God is the most powerful force on the earth. Therefore, we should always
keep our prayers and our ministry, focused on people.
from Rick Joyner
A Personal Note From Rick
There is far more to the watchman ministry than we can address in
this format. We have many tapes and other materials that deal with it
in more depth. These are available from our
website, or you may call toll free 1-800-542-0278 and
request a free catalog. On August 21-24, 2003, we are hosting
Advanced Prophetic Conference in Charlotte in which this
subject will be addressed.
granted (and you are also encouraged) to reprint these articles in hard copy
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blessings, Steve Shultz, Publish, The Elijah List