“Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning. Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.” “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” “My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.” Psalm 5:1-3; 62:5; 130:6
A night watchman, stationed on some promontory and with eyes adjusted to the dark, watches like a hawk for any movement, anything amiss, any possible threat. As the hours stretch closer to dawn, his eyes strain toward the horizon, willing the light to arrive. Night after night, the watchman waits with eager anticipation, confident the sun will boast its entrance once again, washing his world with day. O, that I would be so consistent, so vigilant, in prayer!
As a watchman fulfills his duty, he looks not so much for no disruption, as he is trained and prepared to handle what might come, but he looks for the morning light, under whose realm all will be visible and clear. When I pray, am I like the psalmist, prepared with my sacrifice of praise, of careful words, to the Lord? Do I fix my soul in Him, and eagerly watch, not so much for my answers, my design to unfold, but for His appearance? This watching seems to require less a clarity and direction of vision as an act of the will, a deliberate choice to beseech Him and wait expectantly, not passively, for Him to appear in whatever circumstance or life over which I pray. Watching means stationing myself where I can see, in the word where I understand God’s marvelous and mysterious ways and learn His personality and motivations, in the Body where I behold His wondrous grace and complementary gifts and binding together of His people. It means trusting that He hears and will act, and boldly taking action on His promises.
If we are to wait more than a watchman, we need be aware of the distractions that would steal our attention and distort keen eyes. We need to make preparation of thought, schedule time for prayer, and guard it as our only assignment and purpose, setting aside all that would detract from our intention. We can determine to follow the examples of Daniel, Paul, Epaphras, who diligently and regularly wrestled in prayer. What is keeping us from waiting on God? What are we waiting for? (Daniel 6:10-11; Galatians 4:19; Colossians 4:12)
Lord, establish my soul on Your ramparts! As I ask You to be attentive to my cries, make me fully attentive to You. Awaken expectancy in my daily watching and waiting for You, that when Your morning light appears, You will receive all the praise.