Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 45 : Watch and Pray | Day 314

Watch for Opportunities!

He was no ordinary beggar. Friends carried him every day to the gate of the Temple, where he asked those who went into the Temple for money. Everyone knew him and no one was exempt from his pleas, including Peter and John.

Peter recognized that this was an opportunity for a public demonstration of God's power and love. Turning and looking at the lame man, Peter boldly declared: “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). He then explained the way to salvation to the astonished multitude, and 5,000 men became believers!

The envious religious leaders had Peter and John arrested and put into prison. When they were asked by what power the lame man had been healed, Peter answered, “... By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole” (Acts 4:10).

Just as the first-century religious leaders forbade the disciples to use the name of Jesus, many governments throughout the world are doing the same today.

There is power in the name of Jesus. With courts outlawing public prayers in the name of Jesus, it is time for believers to watch for opportunities to demonstrate the power of that name by crying out to God for the healing, salvation, and freedom from addictions of those whom the world views as "hopeless."

As we take these opportunities to cry out to God, we can expect to encounter the opposition of spiritual warfare. One goal of watching and praying is to withstand Satan so that God's purposes can be carried out unhindered both in our lives and in the world around us. We need to “... be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10). Thus, Paul writes, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day ...” (Ephesians 6:13).

Paul then lists the pieces of the armor of God that we should put on, and concludes this list by saying, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:18-19).

God will often do His greatest work in times and in places where people do not believe in Him or His power.

Today as much as in any other time in history, we need to be vigilant in our prayers and alert and equipped to withstand Satan's opposition. We must have the power of God's grace perfected in our weaknesses so that we can do great works in the name of Jesus. Then, when people ask us, "By what power or by what name have you done this?" we can boldly declare, "In the mighty name of the Lord Jesus Christ and through the power of His grace."

“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard