Eighty-two—Watch and pray

Eighty-two—Watch and pray

There’s a story about preacher boy who was invited to a dinner for the old-timers who had long graced the local pulpits. Having been warned that the length of their sermons and prayers were legendary, the young preacher set in for a long day. It was during the rather lengthy prayer of thanks for the food that he could no longer contain himself. Seeing all the gray heads bowed resolutely around the table the young preacher quietly took to his seat and began to devour the food set before him. By the time the ‘Amen’ was said, he had consumed all on his own plate, all on the plate to his right and was halfway through the plate to his left. When sensing all the horrified stares of his elders upon him, he looked up and said, “Watch and pray, brothers. Watch and pray!” It was 82 years ago that a lot of meetings and speeches were being held in Europe. 1938 can now be seen as the year that talk should have ceased and action should have taken against Hitler’s Germany. Although Churchill warned of a coming of a literal second world war, (he saw Hitler’s standing army of 150,000 troops as an evil portent), all eyes were closed in hope that it would all just go away. After all, the last thing Britain wanted was another war. The sting of truth is never pleasant. Especially when it comes from an unpopular source. It is then that we are tempted to cut off our noses to spite our face. The mature Christian is made of better stuff. He learns from history—even when it is held up menacingly to his face. He prepares for the hard days ahead with ceaseless prayers upon his lips and his eyes wide open. We are warned to expect the Day of the Lord. It will come suddenly. “Watch and pray, brethren. Watch and pray!”



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