WATCHMEN ON THE WALL
Lesson 1: Watch and Pray
Watchmen on the wall is a biblical concept that helps us understand our role as intercessors. We will look at watchmen in the Old Testament and see how the call to watch and pray has also been extended to followers of Jesus in the New Testament and even today. Whether we are praying about the things going on around us or are looking ahead to the Lord’s return, the watchman mentality helps us move into a deeper devotion to prayer that brings about God’s Kingdom purposes.
This lesson also helps us understand the place of day and night prayer in the Lord’s plan and looks at the Moravian prayer movement of the 1700s.
In this lesson you will:
• gain a well-rounded understanding of what it means to be a watchman on the walls of your life, family, home, church, city, state, nation and world.
• understand more deeply the connection between watching and praying and how it is tied to God’s work on earth.
• see how watchful praying is often connected to the Lord’s return.
• learn about the Moravian prayer movement of the 1700’s that was called The Lord’s Watch.
• gain some practical ways to become more devoted to God through your prayer life.
• The Role of a Spiritual Watchman by Henry Blackaby
• The Task of a Watchman by Dave Butts
• The Watch of the Lord by Dave Butts
Watch Video for Lesson 1
1. On a scale of 1-10, how devoted are you to your prayer life? How does this number make you feel about the present reality of your life of prayer with God? What do you hope for the future in light of this course on Watchmen?
2. Henry Blackaby stated that “…a watchman has to be equipped by God to see what others do not see and he has a unique capacity to see when the enemy is invading.” Spend time discussing what this means. Have you or someone you know ever experienced “seeing” in this way? Explain.
3. Do you believe, as Blackaby does, that fulfilling or not fulfilling your role to watch and pray can have eternal significance? Perhaps you have experienced this in your own life. Give some examples such as the one he described about evil influences infiltrating a youth group. Be sure to also consider times when you felt led to cry out but didn’t…what were the consequences?
4. How did you feel about Blackaby’s story of forgetting to pray for a missionary as reflected in this statement: “If you’ve made a covenant with a missionary family to be a spiritual watchman on the walls of their mission or mission field, keep covenant with them because a watchman carries life and death in his or her hands.”? Have you forged such covenants with anyone on the mission field? How is that assignment going? Do you have any stories as to how your prayers, or lack of praying may have affected the people you have agreed to intercede for?
5. Dave mentioned the story of the disciples not keeping their commitment to watch and pray – even for an hour…how does this story make you feel? Does it let you off the hook, because “Hey, even the disciples struggled to pray?” Or, does it make you feel more determined not to let Jesus down when He gives you a prayer assignment?
6. Dave stated that the biblical implication of watching and praying, being ready, being alert, are all terms that have to do with the Second Coming of Jesus. Do you think God is calling His people today to watch and pray more intensely because His return is imminent? Why or why not?
7. Acts 2:42 and Colossians 4:2 both talk about being devoted to prayer. On a scale of 1-10, how devoted would you say you are to prayer? Do you see prayer as a duty or a delight? Explain your answer. Why do you think prayer is so difficult for so many Christians to see as an intimate and vital part of their relationship with God?
8. Explain your thoughts about the differences between Old Testament watchmen on the walls and New Testament watchmen. Do you sense that God is calling His people to stand on the walls of our cities and our nation to watch and pray in this hour? Why or why not?
9. Have you ever considered the importance of having your prayers line up with the plans and purposes of God and His Kingdom rather than focusing only on your own personal wants and needs? What needs to happen so that you can learn to align your prayers with the Kingdom of God here on earth as it is in heaven?
10. What do you think your church would look like if it was completely devoted to prayer – a “house of prayer for all nations”?
11. Had you heard of the Moravian prayer movement from the 1700’s prior to this lesson? Do you believe such a movement of prayer is possible or even desirable today? Have you seen or experienced a season of day and night prayer, even if just for 24 hours? If so, what was that like? Do you think God is restoring the Lord’s Watch in our day? Why or why not?
Note: Consider watching the videos: Awaken the Watchmen, and What Is 24-7 Prayer?, which can be found in the Supplemental Materials section for this lesson to learn more about the 24-7 prayer movement.
12. In “The Task of the Watchman” Dave says, “…it is God who posts the watchmen. This is a divine assignment, not just the latest prayer fad. To stand on the wall as a watchman, stationed there by the Lord Himself, is a great privilege. We need to receive and obey such a call with gratitude and humility.” What do you think about this and do you feel you have been called as a watchman? Do you feel equipped to stand on the wall where God has called you? Explain.
Download Lesson 1 Discussion Questions
Watch Dave’s Summary Video (2-3 minutes)
Spend Time in Prayer
Individual and Group Participants: Please take time to do both the Personal and Group sections.
Personal: Perhaps the most important prayer today is a personal one. Take a few minutes to ask the Lord to make you a watchman in prayer. Asking God to make you a man or woman of prayer is aligned with the disciples coming to Jesus and asking Him to “teach us to pray.” Focusing on being a watchman is another step of intensity in our devotion to prayer.
Group: During this prayer time, use the Prayer Guide for Lesson 1 to inform your prayers as you ask God to help you to be a watchman on the walls of your home, family, job, ministry, school, city, state, nation or world. God has an assignment for you to watch and pray. Pray for a “watch and pray” spirit to be poured out in your life and for those in your group.
As you pray together, write down anything you hear from the Lord if you are not already sure of the wall(s) God wants you to stand on as a watchman. If you wish to share following the prayer time, perhaps what you hear will encourage others to climb up on the wall.
This week, spend time considering God’s call to the wall of prayer. This article will be helpful:
What Does It Mean to be Devoted to Prayer?
Read this article and follow the practical steps toward growing in your devotion to your prayer life this week.
Please scroll down to access Lesson 2
Supplemental Material for Lesson 1:
Watchman – A Divine Assignment
By Dave Butts
Our modern culture does not readily identify with the ancient concept of watchmen on the walls. We need to train ourselves in what it means to be a part of this great company of the “alert.”
Be Devoted to Prayer
John Piper – audio sermon with written text – 2002
A Prayer Meeting that Lasted 100 Years
The above article is an excellent overview of the Moravian prayer revival.
What Is 24-7 Prayer? – short video (4 minutes)
This video gives an overview of one expression of 24-7 prayer sweeping the earth, especially among young people.
Awaken the Watchmen (10-minute video clip)
– a good overview of the global 24/7 prayer movement in more recent times.
24-7 Prayer (short video) by Pete Grieg