Please, Pray and Watch

God is up to something, and you’re invited.

A few years ago, we had an experience that is becoming common in our lives: a divine appointment with someone in our community. What was unique about this one is that we were out of town, staying in a hotel.

While in the lobby getting something to eat, we noticed someone we knew, over by the elevator. “Is that Jim?” we asked each other.

We don’t see Jim often in town, but we know people who know him. And we are partners in praying and watching for Jim.

“Pray&Watch” is the term we’ve coined for a lifestyle of praying for the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of everyone we see and everyone we know.

Now, as we stood in the hotel lobby, our palms started sweating. We dug around for a Four Spiritual Laws booklet and whispered strategies about how we would “just run into him naturally.”

Never mind Jim’s agenda (creating quality time with his family). We had to get the words of the gospel into his ear. After all, God had created this opportunity and we had to make the most of it.

Respecting God’s sovereignty to save

Sound familiar? That was a past life for us. A life we never want to live again. Did that familiar pit develop in your stomach while you read that fictional story? It would have happened much like that were it not for the Pray&Watch lifestyle we’ve chosen.

We did run into Jim at a local hotel. Seeing him was an invitation to pray, just like we do every time we see him, whether in expected or unexpected environments.

Awhile later, I (Judy) was sitting alone with my computer in that same hotel lobby when Jim and his wife walked by. It was my first opportunity to meet a woman I’d been praying for, for some time. As they walked away, I was excited about that divine appointment to interact with both of them for a brief moment.

Did I “make the most of the opportunity”? Our past evangelism training would say that I shirked my responsibility by not speaking then about the gospel.

But I was praying. And watching. And respecting God’s sovereignty to save. In so doing I was in alignment with what God was doing in this couple’s life. I perceived, as I walked with God, that His planting season was not yet.

A short while later, Jim came by again. This time he was by himself. This time he wanted to talk. This time the conversation turned toward church and spiritual things, not by my doing, but by his. This man is not yet a believer, but God is obviously at work in his heart—more obvious to us as we pray and watch as an intentional way of life.

Adapted with permission from Pray&Watch: Find what’s worth living for, by Neal and Judy Brower.

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