Keeping Watch at Night

2Samuel 7:4 “And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan…”

2:30 a.m.

Believe me, I am not one who enjoys getting out of bed before the sun even hits the snooze button on its alarm clock. If it were up to me, I would prefer stumbling to the coffee pot in daylight. But that’s not my life – I’m a school bus driver. 5 o’clock mornings are my norm.

But I am also a pastor. A shepherd. And because I am a shepherd of souls, I sometimes have to do like the shepherds of old, keep watch over my flock by night. That requires being on call all the time, including the dark times. And when I say “dark times,” I mean that literally and figuratively.

The Night

Just like the time mentioned above, sometimes shepherding involves looking out for your sheep while they sleep. In the Christmas story we read of shepherds “keeping watch over their flocks by night.” Why? Because evidently wolves and thieves work third shift, too. It’s in the dark times that pastors and intercessors are needed most.

It was in the night that “the word of the LORD came unto Nathan.” What would have happened if Nathan had refused to wake up? What would have happened had he refused to listen, but instead said, “I have GOT to get some sleep?”

This morning, at 2:30 a.m., the Lord placed a prayer on my heart. He gave me a “vision in the night.” I could have griped, rolled over, looked at the clock, and asked, “Why now?” Instead, I sat up on my elbows and began to intercede for the one God placed on my heart, and for a ministry for which he has given me a burden. What would have happened had Nathan refused the word meant for King David, all because it was after working hours? Would the Temple have been built by God’s design?

Your Call

Have you ever woken up at night with another person on your heart? When that happens, what do you do? You see, dark times come at all times, especially when it’s most inconvenient. As a matter of fact, the “darkness” may even be a difficult time in your own life. It may be in the wee hours of your own “night” that God chooses to speak.

Don’t ignore Him. He wouldn’t call in the middle of the night if it wasn’t important.



Filed under Christian Maturity, Christmas, Life Lessons, ministry, Preaching

9 responses to “Keeping Watch at Night

  1. Anthony,

    Thanks for this. I needed this message. Thank you for obeying God!

  2. roy cavender

    Good post. Why do you get up so late, my brother?:)

  3. When that happens it’s time to get up and pray a little. Or a lot.

  4. EmergentWarrior

    Morning noon or night, if God puts it on your heart to pray, ya best be a prayin’. Good word good post sir, thank you.-Caroline

  5. God never calls us if it isn’t important – day or night. I have not been awoken in the middle of the night much, but I have been awoken early morning (maybe an hour or two before I had to get up) with burdens on my heart. 🙂

  6. Whenever He calls, it’s time to obey. We obey, He moves, it’s great! Even when we’re tired.

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