For Thee, since first the world was made,
So many hearts have watched and prayed;
The patriarchs’ and prophets’ throng
For Thee have hoped and waited long.
(A verse from We Sing, Emmanuel, Thy Praise written by Paul Gerhardt)
“Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.” (Matthew 26:41 The Message)
Have you ever had to stay up all night to guard something? When I was just out of high school, I had joined the Air Force and one of my duties during my enlistment was to take my turn as the “night guard” of the barracks. I remember that it was very difficult to keep alert all night long. I don’t know if I was so willing to do it, rather I was motivated by the fear that I would be disciplined if caught sleeping. The body is indeed weak, and I’m sure I nodded off a couple times during the night watches.
It is just as difficult to remain alert spiritually. We live constantly in a world infused with dark forces, and the best way to stay awake is to draw near to the Light. Prayer opens up our spiritual windows and lets the sunshine in. Being in prayer is being in His presence.
Also, singing His praise keeps me spiritually attentive. As I sings carols during Advent, I desire to let the words of each song carry me into His presence, and affirm Jesus’ great love for me, and in return express my adoration of Him.
O come, Let us adore Him!