Watching — and staying alert — through prayer

Now isn’t a good time to sleep — rather we need to watch and stay alert to all forms of deception. Now, maybe more than ever, we need to think independently about any shared information coming from stories and opinions shared on the news, social media, or advertising. And we can do so by holding close guard over our thought with prayer.

Christ Jesus warned his disciples, past and present, to “watch (Mark 13:37)” In Jesus’ command (see the full context Mark 13:33-37) he expected all followers to watch, or be active witnesses, for the Son of Man, the Christ-power, that protects us — heals sickness and saves us from sin. He called on past and present disciples to demonstrate and show God’s healing power.

At the same time it’s equally important to watch against thoughts that might be anti-good, anti-Christ. These thoughts can be atheistic, dogmatic, lustful, anxious, fearful, etc — but these thoughts all do the same thing: they distract us and lead thoughts toward, false gods, and keep us from staying focused on God’s goodness and following His son, Christ Jesus.

Mary Baker Eddy, echoing Jesus’ command, gives us some empowering ideas — I hope you can spend some time with these (see below). All of them remind us that these false and misleading thoughts are ultimately powerless because God alone has all-power and is infinite good.

What is more, each of us can utilize the power of prayer to immediately find refuge in God by simply turning away from deceptive thoughts and shutting them down by acknowledging and worshipping only God’s omnipotence, and by also understanding the impotence, the nothingness, of evil. This can be done anytime, anywhere, through silent, prayerful communion with God. It doesn’t take long — in fact even taking a few seconds to pray can quickly bring peace and joy.

Helpful ideas from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy:

And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure. —p. 497

That false claim — that ancient belief, that old serpent whose name is devil (evil), claiming that there is intelligence in matter either to benefit or to injure men — is pure delusion, the red dragon; and it is cast out by Christ, Truth, the spiritual idea, and so proved to be powerless. The words “cast unto the earth” show the dragon to be nothingness, dust to dust; and therefore, in his pretence of being a talker, he must be a lie from the beginning. —p. 567
Unless the harmony and immortality of man are becoming more apparent, we are not gaining the true idea of God; and the body will reflect what governs it, whether it be Truth or error, understanding or belief, Spirit or matter. Therefore “acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace.” Be watchful, sober, and vigilant. The way is straight and narrow, which leads to the understanding that God is the only Life. It is a warfare with the flesh, in which we must conquer sin, sickness, and death, either here or hereafter, — certainly before we can reach the goal of Spirit, or life in God. —p. 324