«Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man» (Luke 21:36).
THE NGÖBE INDIGENOUS GROUP from the Comte Burica area in the south of costa Rica is made up of wonderful people. Many of them, with whom I came in contact as a missionary in the Boots for Jesus Association, do not spare any effort to praise the Lord. I was able to confirm it on one occasion when they went from Progreso, where they live, to the new community room, in order to participate in a prayer vigil. To many of them, that meant a three-hour walk. I could not help but wonder if l would be willing to make the sacrifice.
That occasion was special, although it had some times of trial (a sweet trial, I could say). You see, they had organized a vigil, but we, the missionaries, who had spent the day from sunup to sundown taking care of people, were worn out and wanted to rest. There was only one problem: our camp was only three hundred yards away from the room where they, who were Pentecostal, were meeting. They sang the whole night, preached, and gave testimonies one after the other. Something that is wonderful in normal circumstances prevented us from sleeping. They spent more than ten hours in the vigil, with such energy that it was an incredible message for me! I was amazed and was led to ask myself if I really watch and pray as much as I should.
The next day, I discovered that I was not the only one who had asked that question. During our return trip, the members of the missionary team began to comment on the matter and we ended up with a question: Could it be that we have stopped watching and praying? It is possible. This question, which can only be answered individually (only each person knows what his or her spiritual health is like), should lead us to make decisions, not just to pose it and leave it at that.
It was Jesus who said, «Watch and pray always.» «Watching» is keeping alert, staying awake while connecting with God (not to watch television). A short time before, Jesus «spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart» (Luke 18: 1); it was the parable of the widow and the unjust judge. Regarding that parable, Ellen White said that it applies specifically to the case of God’s people in the last days. That would be you and I.
Friend, watching and praying is not a duty, but a necessity. Let us not neglect it.