Rise Up and Pray!
O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Thine own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name.
Daniel 9:19, NASB
Jesus said to His disciples, “Watch ye and pray....The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38). In Romans 13:14, Paul warns us to “make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” The flesh lusts after sleep and carnal delights; the spirit desires communion with God.
Robert M. McCheyne recognized this war within, which is why he encouraged his congregation all the more to rise up and pray. He once wrote to them from the mission field:
It is said of John Welch, minister of Ayr, that he would always sleep with a plaid [a blanket] upon his bed to wrap around himself when he arose in the night to pray. He used to spend whole nights in wrestling with God for Zion and for the purity of the Church of Scotland, and he wondered how Christians could lie all night in bed without rising to pray. Oh! We have few Welches now; therefore our church is so dim, and our land a barren wilderness. Dear Christians, I often think it strange that ever we should be in heaven, yet so many in hell, through our soul-destroying carelessness. The Lord pardon the past, and stir you up for the future. I learn that you are more stirred up to pray since I left, both in secret and unitedly. God grant it be so. Continue in it, dear children. Plead and wrestle with God, showing Him that the cause is His own, and that it is all for His own glory to arise and have mercy upon Zion.
Make provision for the spirit, not the flesh, friend. Live prepared for duty, be it day or night.
Leviticus 7; Psalms 7-8;
Proverbs 22; 1 Thessalonians 1