And Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water, and poured it out before the Lord. And they fasted that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah (1 Samuel 7, 5-6).
The whole assembly of Israel gathered in Mizpah and prayed and fasted. This is as relevant to us now as Christian as it was to them. As a child of God we need to develop a lifestyle of prayer. We can never grow spiritually beyond our prayer life meaning we cannot grow as a believer without a regular and constant communication with the Father. Prayer is a dialogue or communication with the Lord, a moment when we talk to Him as children will do with the fathers and He will answer us back and pour out His heart concerning matters relating to us and His kingdom. This cannot be taken lightly.
Let’s not wait until we are in trouble before calling upon the Lord and start sending SOS (Save Our Souls/Save Our Ship) messages to heaven. Prayer is certainly not an emergency only line or the last resort to our problem. It is a daily routine to build that relationship between Father and son/daughter.
Prayer is an act of humility when we tell God we cannot do without Him, so we need His help, His opinion and His guidance about our life; it is a time when we submit our heart to the Master. Prayer involves God in our lives and provokes His response as said in 2 Chronicles 7:14 “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land”. Revival happened that day in Mizpah when the people prayed because they turned from their idolatrous ways and repented.
Even Jesus, God incarnated, often prayed when He was on earth to teach us how important it is (Luke 6, 12: "Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God") so much that the disciples caught the revelation and asked Jesus to teach them to pray (Luke 11, 1).
Samuel gather Israel to Mizpah and there they prayed and fasted unto the Lord. Mizpah means “watch tower”. In the book of Mark 14, 38 NKJV: "Watch and Pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak". Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane told the disciples to “watch and pray”. It was a crucial time for Jesus, nearly the last leg of His purpose on earth and knowing the frailty of our human nature, He asked the disciples to watch and pray to enable them to go through what was about to happen.
To watch means “to be alertly on the lookout, look attentively or observe as to see what comes, what is done or what happens; is to look or wait attentively and expectantly watch for a signal or for an opportunity”. We are not only called to pray but also to be on the lookout as watchmen.
A watchman is to see what is happening around him and act accordingly, whether to thwart illegal activities or to detect and warn about any danger lurking or coming.
Jesus commanded the disciples to watch so “they don’t stumble and enter into temptation". “Keep alert and pray that you’ll be spared from this time of testing. For your spirit is eager enough, but your humanity is feeble” (The Passion Translation);
“Stay awake, and pray that you aren’t led into a trial of your own. It’s true—even when the spirit is willing, the body can betray it” (The Voice).
We are to stay awake, to keep alert so that we are spared from trials and testing times or so that we are able to endure them and not fail. As watchmen, we are to report anything spiritually illegal in our bodies, in our finances, in our churches, ministries, in our cities and nations to heaven in prayer and thwart every plan of the enemy.
As children of God, there is no spiritual victory we will ever attain and maintain without prayer. This year, we need to watch and pray in order to obtain divine help.