In times of war, about half an hour before both sunrise and sunset, a "stand-to" is conducted in the military. That means everyone is put on the alert, packed up and made ready to fight or move at a moment's notice.
When we worship, war and watch, the glory comes. And when the glory comes, there is great grace for healing, ministry, miracles and the prophetic.
When the presence of the Lord comes, there is clarity of vision. Watchmen are able to have a greater vantage point in the realm of the Spirit, so they can see what's coming and can warn the rest of the body of Christ of any trouble or turbulence ahead.
In His Presence
Eight hours of intense corporate prayer really do pass quickly. The power of God is demonstrated again and again, and all too soon, it's over—until the following week when we gather again to watch on the wall in prayer.
We encourage people not to stay away just because they think they will fall asleep. We tell them to get in His presence, and be there when His visitation comes.
I will admit that at the end, we're a little punchy from the lack of sleep. But the Lord makes it up to us.
When Jesus went into the temple with all the buying, selling and taking care of business, He took one look and said, "I don't live here." He declared that His house would be "a house of prayer for all nations" (Mark 11:17, NIV).
Jesus didn't say the church would be a house of doctrine or teaching or a house of wisdom or prophecy. He didn't even say it was going to be a house of miracles!
As we pray together corporately, seven things combine into a wonderful mix that, when led by the Holy Spirit, create an atmosphere conducive to drawing near to God and being with Him:
It's not as if we deliberately try to attend to all these priorities during any given watch. Only in looking back do we discover that we have spent time on each of these aspects of prayer.
Of course, some of the greatest rewards of the watch are answered prayers. As we carry the burden of the Lord in our hearts, standing in the gap for the earth, the anointing accomplishes the will of God while the watchman carries away the spoils!
During one of our Friday night watches, we were intensely urged by the Holy Spirit to intercede specifically for the safety of our children. The next evening one of the couples who had been at the watch received a call that their daughter, who was visiting a friend in Colorado, had been thrown from a horse and struck her head on a rock.
The physician examining her said she had lost the vision in her left eye and was suffering from temporary amnesia due to a concussion. This couple continued to trust God for their daughter's healing, mobilizing additional prayer support as CAT scans and further tests were ordered.
The following day, a call from the physician indicated great surprise on his part. "The eye that I examined immediately following the accident does not appear to be the same eye that I am now observing," he said.
The physician, a born-again Christian continued, "Your daughter has been miraculously touched by God! Her vision is restored."
We have also seen our prayers answered on a global scale. During April 1999 we were praying for three American prisoners of the war with Yugoslavia to be released.
On Friday night, April 30, we again held them up in prayer, specifically by name. We asked the Lord to cause Yugoslav President Milosevic to release them from prison.
That same day, Friday, President Milosevic had said no to an interfaith delegation of American religious leaders negotiating in Belgrade for the soldiers' release. But on Saturday, May 1, the day after our watch, President Milosevic did a complete turnaround and agreed to release the soldiers!