“I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me…” (Habakkuk 2:1).
“Prepare the table, set a watchman in the tower…For thus has the Lord said to me: ‘Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he sees’” (Isaiah 21:5a-6).
A rampart is defined as “a wall-like ridge.” Habakkuk spoke of setting himself on the rampart (or wall) to watch. Notice he said, “I will stand my watch…” He considered this a personal assignment. It was his specific time to “watch,” and he was determined to be faithful.
When Isaiah said of the watchman: “let him declare what he sees” (Isaiah 21:6) he was talking about what might be described as the prophetic dimension of a watchman. A watchman in ancient times was to be constantly alert to any impending attack of the enemy and to give warning to leaders of the city if he saw something of concern. In our day this suggests that watchmen stay alert to what the Holy Spirit is saying during their watch and make what they see and hear in the spiritual realm a primary focus of their intercession.
No doubt the two great keys to serving as a watchman are summed up in the words “wait” and “worship.”
More than anything else a watchman must be willing to stay in his or her position until the time of their watch is complete. The Psalmist declared, “My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning—yes, more than those who watch for the morning” (Psalm 130:6). The word “wait” means “to stay in a place in expectation of something happening.” It also means “to be ready and available.” Generally speaking, most of the time one spends during a typical prayer watch will lack feelings of emotion. Faithfulness, not feelings, is the key to being a good watchman. If our “watch” happens to be late in the night we might even doze from time to time.
Don’t allow this to defeat you. Simply continue praying when you wake from those moments of dozing. Most important is that you do not give up. Patience is the key to waiting.
Here is where worship is so vital. Even playing a worship CD can be helpful during one’s prayer watch. Singing to the Lord also can help watchmen in their prolonged times of prayer. You can sing psalms or choruses or hymns. You can even make up your own songs based on passages of Scripture. When you sing your prayers based on God’s Word we refer to it as “intercessory worship.” This is an excellent way to stay alert during prayer. All the passages or promises from Scripture listed in this guide can be sung as well as prayed aloud during your prayer watch. And even if you do not have a good singing voice there is no need to worry. Only God is listening. As the great worship leader A. W. Tozer declared, “You may think you have a terrible voice, but God thinks you’re an opera star!”
The very purpose of this guide is to give you a plan for each day as you stand upon your watch. It is a biblical plan that helps a person pray an entire hour by focusing on each step for approximately five minutes. Of course, by using all the specific focuses for each day as presented in this guide, you can easily fill an hour (or much more).