To “watch and pray” (Matthew 26:41) is, firstly, to practice situational awareness with a particular concern for identifying existing and developing threats to our soul’s well-being. The soul’s health is understood in the context of divine revelation. Secondly, the Lord calls believers to maintain their posture of vigilance and defense against threats by intercessory dependence on God. The Lord’s teaching contradicts the disciples’ concern for physical threats and armed responses. The passage, misused to defend pacifism, is, instead, a clarion call to recognize that spiritual warfare lies behind physically presenting issues. Such a battle is, therefore, undertaken by appeal to God’s strength and providential protection.
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” ~ Matthew 26:41 ESV