(Image via Google).
Finally been able to sit down and do my next post on prayer watches. It is an interesting topic that I am still learning about but it’s good to share revelation along the road.
This post is for those of you who seems to wake up at certain times and wondered why. This post is for those that have felt strong burdens on their heart and not got any sleep until you obeyed. This post is for all those who have battled through the night alone, seemingly. But good news is that you are not alone and here is an explanation for those of you who have dealt with this. There is a special power in intercession at night and early morning.
In my experience I find it easier to hear God clearly in the early morning or the cool of the evening since everything has quieted down and there aren’t as many distractions either. Furthermore, as I’ve researched the Hebrew context and listened to teachings, I learned that a new day starts at sundown and not sunset as it usually does in Western culture. This was how God designed it in creation originally. Perhaps my Spirit knows that, because I always feel more at peace and rest after sundown?
Anyhow getting off on a tangent slightly. Moving on to the different watches of the day and night. According to Biblestudytools.com the day was divided into watches because of military watchmen relieving each other. The watches were originally divided into three watches of the night in Jewish culture but after the Roman supremacy was established it was extended to four watches. We have eight watches, all divided into three hours each. The watchman’s purpose was to look out for enemies and give notice. They kept watch in watchtowers usually. In a spiritual sense this is what we do if we are called to intercession and prophetic intercession in particular. We have sharp discernment and are sort of the alarm system in the body of Christ or church we belong to. We sound the trumpet on issues others don’t see but more than often the battle is done in prayer through the watches that hardly anyone one else sees.
In my post I will deal first deal with the Old Testament watches and then the New Testament.
- The first watch, ‘ Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at every street corner’ (Lamentations 2:19).
The first watch is from 6pm to 10pm. As we can read from this verse Jeremiah was urging people to devote their first watch to truly seek God with all our hearts and to specifically pray for the people around us, the unsaved, the hungry and thirsty who are without the living water which is God and Jesus. It stresses the importance of setting our hearts and priorities right first with God and then to intercede for others. Intercession is all about standing in the gap for others. May we enter into our secret place to pray living waters over those who need it.
- The Middle Watch, ‘Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands’ (Judges 7:19).
The middle watch is from 10pm to 2am. It is a time to overtake the Enemy’s camp and do damage to his kingdom as God is with us. The time of victory as we intercede. Darkness often prevails at these hours so it is a poignant time. Now we already have the victory in Christ at the cross but there are times we have to ‘fight’ with spiritual weapons. The best way is spirit-led intercession, tongues and worship. The blowing of a trumpet represents victory in the Spirit and was an important symbol in war. It could assemble the troops, call for war and also celebration. Gideon caused confusion to the camp by the sounding of the shofar, breaking of jars and exposing of the torches on the inside. As we read further we can see that the enemy fled in confusion and fear because of this act. Furthermore, the smashing of the jars in the enemy’s camp is a prophetic act and signified that as we break the things we hold onto, God’s light can shine through. We are compared to jars of clay but we have Jesus on the inside, the light. We are in a sense a broken vessel and as we break for Him, His light can shine through us, and scare the Enemy away. He is the light and the Word. This battle was entirely won by God’s power and that is how the Christian life is lived, completely dependant on Him. We can do nothing without Him, but as we let the Holy Spirit lead us and guide us, we can do mighty exploits as we read in Judges! Gideon had to be brave and follow God’s instruction and look at what it led to! The Lord is with us to fight our battles and He will allow us to partake in it by waking us to intercession at this hour! This is the revelation I am receiving.
- The Morning Watch, ‘During the last watch of the night the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion’ (Exodus 14:24) and ‘The next day Saul separated his men into three divisions; during the last watch of the night they broke into the camp of the Ammonites and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together’ (1 Samuel 11:11).
The morning watch is from 2am-6am, and a time for total victory and deliverance from the enemy in our lives. They will be gone and engulfed by the Lord. God came during the last watch in a mighty way and delivered the Hebrews from the Egyptians. A time to pray for deliverance and seek strategies to overcome our issues in life. A time to intercede for people oppressed, bound in slavery and that are persecuted-as this is a time God delivers truly. In 1 Samuel 11:11 we read that Saul led an extreme slaughter of his enemy and those who were able to escape were divided, so they couldn’t unite forces in any way. This happened all throughout the night till the breaking of dawn. The dawn signifies a new beginning and breakthrough through perserverance. Light will dawn and Jesus will come through. He is our breakthrough. This could be through intercession. We can also see that God gives us ability to overcome and in the Old Testament they didn’t have Jesus but had to completely rely on God to come through and be obedient. Just think of the power available to us now through the New Covenant!
I found as God has kept me awake at these hours that apart from seasonal warfare, I have experienced truly special intimacy with Jesus and grown in my relationship with Him as a result. I would say that this is the goal of it eventually to know Him better. Sometimes I am too busy during the day.
He will call us to certain prayer assignments or give us burdens, that need to be prayed through. And then He calls His beloved because He can trust you and loves you. It is also a call to get into the Word and get into worship. The victory lies in all this but there are certain things only intercession can do. You may be up alone at this time but remember that there are other intercessors and believers awake around the world. God is able to call on their hearts too.
This concludes the second part of my series. In the third and final part I will write about the New Testament watches.
I also feel like sharing this prophetic song as the lyrics fit the topic.
Hope that it blesses someone in their walk!