"praying that you may have strength..."

Vaclav's picture

In Luke 21:34-36 we read these words of Jesus -

34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

In Luke 21:10-33 Jesus has been talking to his disciples about the persecution of his followers, destruction of Jerusalem, his second coming and the signs of the kingdom of God coming in full power.

In verses 34-36 he gives them his last warning and exhortation as to our preparedness/being ready for Jesus' second coming.

First, we are to watch for out ourselves, or be on our guard against three things:

dissipation, drunkenness and cares of this life - wasteful living on ourselves and forgetting others, drunkenness/hangovers, and anxieties for our life, what we'll eat and put on.

All these things would numb us to the reality of Jesus coming, and in the end take us off guard with a great surprise when he comes back. Since the day of the Lord "will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth" - unbelievers and believers alike. Jesus warns and exhort his followers beforehand, so they would not be taken by surprise.

So what's the antidote to such temptations of not being watchful for Jesus' second coming?

Stay awake and pray, "watch and pray" as Jesus said.

There are two things we are to watch and pray for:

First, that we "may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place". It is not an escape out of the world that Jesus is talking about. It is prayer for "strength" to escape all these - persecutions, turmoil in the world and temptations to forget the Lord with drunkenness, dissipation and cares of life, without having our faith and devotion to the Lord Jesus to die out. The key is to continue to trust and obey our coming Lord, to love him and persevere to the end, even in the midst of all these trials and temptations.

And secondly, we need to pray for "strength" to be able to stand before the Son of Man, Jesus Christ the judge of all, at the last day. And to stand before him as those that have been unspotted from the world, washed in the blood of the Lamb, and have endured to the end even through many trials and tribulations from others. And trusting the one who has saved us to the uttermost, and kept us by the power of God.

Brother/sister, we need "strength to escape" all these things - "our hearts being weighed down" with dissipation, drunkenness and cares of this life.

Therefore, let us "watch and pray". Let us be on the lookout for our souls with all diligence, and turning over every matter to God continuously, with love and thanksgiving to our gracious God.

"He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20).

“Give us, we beseech Thee, the precious gift of very simple faith in Thee, the confiding reliance of little children. Things which seem impossible to us Thou canst make possible, and even easy, to those who trust in Thee. Then shew Thy power this day in our weakness, and Thy holy presence in our sinfulness, and Thyself in our nothingness as All in All; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN". (Bishop H.C.G.Moule – Prayers for the home, family worship)


Jesus' words.

I have thought lately how Jesus' words just seem to cut through so much of the mists and deceptions that exist in our minds concerning what is true religion and what is false. Truly his words are as refiners gold. Pure, unalloyed and full of all truth. The verse you quote here is another example of the power, and clear view of reality his words possesed, and that the devil so easily robs us of.

Armando rides again...

The Doctor's picture

I agree with Armando. I can see where true religion and false religion can so be part of our lives. The evil one and the cares of this world could easily disrupt our faith. Why is that? Does this world provide so many wonderful and beautiful things that we thrust ourselves upon to enlighten us, even as Christians, without realizing that it is only a temporary thing. We are excited t first, then we feel empty. I remember the words of Jesus when He said that His words were truth and they are life. Where is the life in this world? The devil wishes to blind us so that we would miss out on all the things that God has for us, put simply:

"Eye has not seen, ear heard or taken into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those that love Him." The world has not said that to us? True faith is unadulterated....worldly faith ends in destruction. I am not alone when I say what Armando says:

"another example of the power, and clear view of reality his words possessed, and that the devil so easily robs us of..."