The rules for the nightwatch are fairly simple. Pray. Listen. Wait. Be still.

Pray:

Almost always a list of people will come to mind but it is good to begin with the big picture. So at the beginning of the nightwatch the LORD’s Prayer will set the mood and bring your focus to the tasks at hand. It is like priming a pump. Then beginning with those closest to your heart pray for well-being, health, specific needs, and prayer requests. Then pray for those you have authority over. Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide and direct them in their daily duties, for Him to direct you in leading them and helping them in their tasks. Pray for those who have authority over you. Include the president and governor. Pray for God to grant them wisdom in their roles as leaders, to walk with them, and guide them in their important decisions. Pray to keep them safe from harm. Then pray for your community, friends, and church. Pray for your pastor specifically and his family. Pray that God inspires his message, meets his every need, and keeps him safe and well. Pray for the needs of friends both the prayer requests they have given you and also for needs you see that they may not ask about. Pray for their health, their families, and their safety. Finally, pray for your own needs, safety, and wisdom.

Take it to the LORD in prayer. Don’t be afraid to tell Him everything even though you know he already knows. Tell Him how you feel, your hearts desires, confess and pray forgiveness.

Listen:

During the listening time you are listening for specific answers to prayers you have just prayed. Perhaps there is something you can do to help a situation. Listen for specific guidance and instruction on what God wants you to do with your day ahead. Respond quickly with action. This is your opportunity to live your faith. Be a blessing. Help someone. Listen for encouragement and comfort from the Holy Spirit. Listen for answers to problems, solutions that you may not have thought of before. Prayer is a two way conversation. God cares for you. He has a lot to say about your life. His input is invaluable. Ask God to open your spiritual ears to hear what the Spirit says.

 

Wait:

The bible tells us to wait upon the LORD. This can be hard to do sometimes. Answers to prayers may not come right away. It may take some time. The wait may be for His timing of an issue. The wait may be so that others can come into line with God’s plan. Those that wait upon the LORD renew their strength.

13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

I have times that my waiting period is just a few minutes then it feels like hopping a train as I align my speed with the task at hand. Other times, the wait is longer and I even wonder if the train has already left the station without me. The strength that the LORD gives is not like the world sees strength. It is an inner peace, conviction, and power that grows as you wait. When you leave this step out of your prayer time you miss, God’s plan for this time. His plan is that you know He is in on it. His hand is the hand that heals. His time is the right time. His will on earth as it is in heaven. So we wait.

Be Still:

He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.

10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him.

Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.

This is a time that God may reason with you. And you may worship Him.

Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.

Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.

Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.

Over and over in the bible we are admonished to “be still”. We can’t hear God if we are always moving about and busy doing something. This stillness goes beyond the physical stillness and includes quieting your mind. Stop thinking, worrying, fretting, and surmising. Stop putting words into God’s mouth and expecting Him to answer what you want to hear. Be in awe at an awesome GOD. Praise His holy name.

Often times during this part of the prayer time, I fall asleep with a deep and restful sleep. I count it an honor to be called to the “Nightwatch”.

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