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Carefully and Prayerfully

Jesus said “watch and pray” (Matt 26:41)
– be alert spiritually. Are you?

Luke 21:36 is one that has been very misunderstood. The NIV misrepresents it thus:

Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen.

It gives the impression that you should pray a selfish prayer, asking God to help you to escape the troubles about to come upon the whole earth. Being a physical being, you tend to think in terms of physical protection or physical escape. That’s what I used to think this meant many years ago.

The New King James Version gets closer to the true meaning of the Greek:

Watch, therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy [alternative meaning: have strength] to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.

The rendition of “have strength to” is closer to the meaning of the Greek.

The Concordant Literal Translation has this:

Now be vigilant, on every occasion beseeching that you may be prevailing to escape all these things which are about to occur, and to stand in front of the Son of Man.

“To prevail” means “to be victorious or gain the mastery over”. In true prayer – not the useless ritual of unbelief spoken in many churches, where it is merely going through the motions – you have union with God through His Spirit. In this union with Him, His Spirit gives you a spiritual enabling. He enables you to prevail against anything that is against your spiritual success.

Remember that the promises of the Bible are SPIRITUAL promises, not physical ones. (This is where so many go wrong!) Jesus is giving you an assurance that, if you stay in union with God, He will enable you to succeed spiritually, even in dire situations. Jesus reiterated it in different words in John 15:7.

‘Watching’ is a metaphor for being spiritually vigilant.

However, prayer is not the only aspect which is vital to your spiritual success. There are other things you need to perceive (watch or see) and respond to in the correct way. And, to all of us – who are errant, sinful human beings – nothing is more fundamental than correction. You may not like it, but you need it!

The Medicine Nobody Wants

On 28th October 2005, Mila Thompson was given this highly significant dream:

Steve and I were doing something. [This symbolises spiritual activity, helping prepare the Bride.] Then I saw some words that were appearing in the air:

1. Instruction,   2. Interpretation,  3. Action,  4. Result.

[This is the first phase of spiritual progression. It depicts the current situation. Most believers need to accept correction & move on. MBH]

Then there appeared a set of new words:

5. Correction, 6. Accepting, 7. Growing.

[God wants to take you further with Him. But stubbornness and pride hold most back.   MBH]

Meaning: I understood the message as follows:

The instruction comes from Above. It is always flawless and perfect.  However, the interpretation and the following action are done by us.  One of them or both can contain mistakes, due to the limitations of our understanding, or because of the impurity of the motives of the human heart.  Thus, the result may be a failure, or something very different from what God originally intended. 

Yet, we are not to despair. We must seek God’s correction, accept it, and act accordingly. This way we grow in our faith and in the image of God.

Mila Thompson

The above are the 7 stages in your development. The list summarises how God deals with us all.

1. He instructs. He does this through the Bible, through dreams, visions, prophets, teachers, and prophetic revelations.

2. We interpret what He says.

What you are willing to accept depends upon you. Most people don’t accept all God says. They reinterpret what God means, so we have ended up with a church at large that has a whole variety of different persuasions than what God meant originally.

3. Action. God means you to live by His word, not just hear it. His Holy Spirit helps the contrite.

4. Result. If you live it, you are blessed (Ps 1).

5. Correction is not welcome, but you need it. Prophets bring it; it’s part of their remit, to help you see what God approves or disapproves. So, don’t ignore the dreams He gives us. They are for your good! Repent!

6. Accepting correction is hard, but necessary.

7. Growing spiritually is the beautiful outcome.

Malcolm B Heap

Copyright: Midnight Ministries, PO Box 29, Aylesbury, HP17 8TL, UK