The 8 Prayer Watches | Biblical Prayer Strategy for Modern Watchmen on the Walls

This post is about prayer watches

Historically, watchmen on walls were individuals charged with protecting their communities from danger. In the Bible, Isaiah 62:6-7 refers to watchmen as people who “shall never rest until her (Jerusalem’s) righteousness goes forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.”

This suggests that watchmen have a spiritual role in guarding cities against destruction and evil forces. They would sound warnings when an enemy approached and act as eyes for citizens of their city, alerting them to potential dangers.

Watchmen also served an important role by keeping track of who was coming into or leaving the city. By monitoring these activities, they could protect the citizens from false prophets or spies disguised as travelers.

In Ezekiel, God warns against those who look out for their own safety instead of sounding an alarm when danger approaches. It shows that it is the responsibility of watchmen to sound the alarm.

Ezekiel 33:6-7“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.”

Ultimately, watchmen on walls served an essential purpose in ancient and Biblical cities. I will be discussing prayer watches in detail.

Ready? Let’s go!

Biblical prayer watchers

The Bible tells us about several prayer watches and watchmen on the walls of the city.

One of the most prominent is Daniel’s prayer watch in the Old Testament book of Daniel (chapters 6-9). In this passage, Daniel prays three times a day – morning, noon, and evening – facing Jerusalem. His prayer watch was in line with Jewish customs, and devout Jews would pray three times a day. This was a way for Daniel to practice faithfulness and remain in prayerful communication with God throughout the day.

Other calls for watchmen on the walls can be found throughout scripture, such as:

  • Isaiah 62:6-7 where God calls on His people to keep a watch and pray at all times;
  • Habakkuk 2:1-2, where God tells Habakkuk to keep watch over what is coming;
  • Psalm 130:6, where the psalmist calls on God to keep watch and listen for His people’s prayers.

Ultimately, a prayer watch is only as effective as the heart behind it. By approaching prayer watch with an attitude of faith, we can please God by being diligent in our prayers and remaining vigilant to Him.

My testimony on prayer watches

I’ve seen the power of prayer watches in action. In a prayer group I was a part of; we had a 24-hour prayer watch with different leaders from around the world managing different times due to time differences. The prayers were held via teleconferencing.

We would have at least one leader (often an ordained Pastor) available for every few hours of the day to cover all 24 hours. We had a plan of action for each watch, with topics ranging from personal prayer requests to prayers for national and international events. This was especially helpful because it allowed us to keep track of our progress and focus on our goals.

These prayer watches can help create a sense of unity among the group members, as each member participates in praying for different requests. It also helps keep the group’s prayers focused and organized, ensuring that nothing is forgotten or overlooked.

P.S I was on the midnight watch (the third watch :-).

Disclaimer on prayer watches

Prayer watches can be an excellent guide for prayer groups, guiding them in the right direction and helping to ensure that strategic prayers are made. It is important to note; however, that prayer watches don’t need to be followed as is – they should instead serve as an inspiration or guideline for what kinds of prayers should be said.

Chain prayers, in particular, can adhere closely to the lines of prayer watches and have a more structured approach to praying. Ultimately, prayer watches should be used as a tool to help prayer groups focus on what they need to be praying for in order to see God’s will come into being. With this in mind, prayer groups can experience even greater success and blessing than before.

By taking the time to observe, understand, and use prayer watches in their groups, prayer groups can significantly benefit from a more unified and organized approach to prayer. Not only will this help to ensure that strategic prayers are made, but it also helps create an atmosphere of unity and community within the group. So take some time to review the prayer watches and consider how they may be applied to your group – you never know how much impact it could have on its success.

Quick summary of the prayer watches

There are eight watches in total, each with its own unique purpose. I will list a brief overview of the eight watches then proceed to cover each prayer watch in-depth!

Night watch

  • First Watch – 6 pm-9 pm: Contemplation and laying foundations in prayer.
  • Second Watch – 9 pm-12 am: Intercessory prayer, to pray for the protection of ourselves and those around us.
  • Third Watch – 12 am-3 am: Spiritual warfare.
  • Fourth Watch – 3 am-6 am: Prophetic prayer because you are commanding your morning with prophetic decrees and declaring God’s word.

Day watch

  • Fifth Watch – 6 am-9 am: Petitions. Ask for strength and surrender. Ask for Holy Spirit to help you before you start your day.
  • Sixth Watch – 9 am-12 pm: Thanksgiving prayer.
  • Seventh Watch – 12 pm-3 pm: This is the seventh watch of rest. 7 Biblical represents that. This is a time to seek God in the secret place.
  • Eighth Watch – 3 pm-6 pm: This is the eighth and final watch of the night and a time for prayer for revival and renewal. Why? We rejoice because of the power of the cross. Symbolically, Christ willingly became a sin offering and died at 3 pm. We thank God that He conquered the power of the Grave!

First Watch – 6 pm-9 pm

The First Watch (6 pm-9 pm) is a time of contemplation and laying foundations in prayer. This watch is all about praying for wisdom and self-reflection. We can use this time to evaluate our lives and how our day went. We also ask God for direction. This watch is important because it helps us take stock of our situation, understand our needs, and open up the lines of communication with God.

During this watch, we lay foundational prayers, asking for guidance from the Holy Spirit and seeking out understanding from God’s Word. We also use this time to meditate on Scriptures that reveal His promises and plans for our lives and pray for others in need or those who are persecuted or suffering.

In-Depth Biblical Prayer Strategy:

• Make a list of specific needs and concerns that are on your heart.

• Pray for each item, asking God to reveal His will in every situation.

• Ask God to help us become more aware of our emotions so we can address them with His love and grace. 

• Pray for discernment and guidance as we seek to serve Him faithfully.

• Ask for guidance so you can navigate through life’s choices.

• Pray that God will reveal His plans and purposes to you in a clear way.

Scripture and Verses:

Psalms 119:105, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

Sample Prayers:

• Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love and grace that never fails us. As we enter this watch, help us be aware of our true emotions and needs so that we can bring them to You in prayer. Give us discernment as we obey Your commands, and protect us from any evil attack or temptation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

• Almighty God, thank You for the promises and plans that You have for our lives. Help us to remain steadfast and trust in Your will even when it may be hard to understand. Provide us with clarity as we seek out Your guidance each day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Second Watch – 9 pm-12 am

The Second watch is often called the hour of intercession, from 9 pm-12 am. This time is spent praying for ourselves, our families, church bodies, and those around us. We seek God’s divine intervention in every area of our lives, asking Him to remove any spiritual obstacles hindering us from living a life of purpose and fulfillment.

In-Depth Biblical Prayer Strategy:

• Pray for protection over your family members, friends, the church body, and community.

• Ask for supernatural strength during times of temptation or trials.

• Seek out divine wisdom from the Holy Spirit so you can make wise decisions. 

• Intercede on behalf of those who are suffering or hurting around the world.

Scripture and Verses:

Psalms 91:14-15, “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.”

Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

James 5:16b, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Sample Prayers:

• Lord Jesus, thank You for the blessing of being able to come before You in prayer. We lay our lives down before You and ask that Your divine protection would cover us in all areas of our lives. Give us courage and strength during hard times so we can trust in Your promises. In Your precious name, we pray, Amen.

• Almighty King, thank You for being our protector in times of trouble and our provider in times of need. Let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven so that all may experience Your goodness and grace. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Third Watch – 12 am-3 am

The Third Watch is from 12 am-3 am and is known as “The hour that God hears.” Some term it the “witching hour” and a time of spiritual warfare. During this watch we pray for protection from evil, that God would grant us victory over our enemies, and for strength to persevere during times of temptation or difficulty. This is a time when the Spiritual veil is very thing.

In-Depth Biblical Prayer Strategy:

• Pray for breakthroughs in certain areas of your life.

• Pray for protection from all forms of evil in the spiritual realm.

• Ask for supernatural strength to stay focused on God’s will.

• Pray for divine intervention and revelation!

Scripture and Verses:

Psalms 91:4-5, “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day.”

Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Sample Prayers:

• Lord God, we come before You asking for Your help and protection. We pray that You would grant us strength against our enemies and that no weapon formed against us would prosper. Lead us into a deeper understanding of Your will so that we can make wise choices and remain steadfast in our faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

• Almighty Father, thank You for being our refuge and strength when life gets hard or uncertain. Please help us to have faith even when things don’t seem possible and give us the courage to fight against evil forces in this world. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

• Heavenly Father, thank You for being our protector and provider. We lift up every fear or worry to You and know that we will find peace and strength in Your presence. Please give us the courage to stand firm against the schemes of the enemy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Fourth Watch – 3 am-6 am

The fourth watch is 3 am-6 am: This is a time for prophetic prayer because you are commanding your morning with prophetic decrees and declaring God’s word. During this time, you are setting the course for your day and asking God to reveal His plans for the future.

In-Depth Biblical Prayer Strategy:

• Pray for the Lord to go before you.

• Pray for divine revelation so that we can understand His ways better.

• Seek out supernatural wisdom so that we can make wise decisions in our lives. 

• Pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven, so all can experience His goodness and grace.

Scripture and Verses:

Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Jeremiah 29:11, “ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Sample Prayers:

• Lord God, we come before You, asking for Your guidance and direction. We pray that You will give us revelation and understanding of Your plans for our lives. Help us to make wise decisions that align with Your will and bring glory to Your name. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

• Heavenly Father, thank You for Your amazing grace and mercy that is new every morning. Help us boldly declare Your promises over our lives so we can live in the fullness of all You have planned for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Fifth Watch – 6 am-9 am

The fifth watch is 6 am-9 am: Time for petitions. Ask for strength and surrender. Ask for Holy Spirit to help you before you start your day.

In-Depth Biblical Prayer Strategy:

• Give thanks and praise to God for all the good He has done.

• Ask God to provide us with the strength to face any trials or struggles we may encounter throughout our day.

• Pray that His presence will remain in our lives so we can live according to His will.

• Seek God’s guidance, protection, and favor in all endeavors.

• Pray for a deeper understanding of spiritual truths so we can stay rooted in faith.

Scripture and Verses: 

Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Isaiah 40:31, “But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Hebrews 12:2, “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Sample Prayers:

• Lord God, we come to You in humility, asking for Your help as we start off another day. Help us remain focused on Your path so we can stay true to Your will. Fill us with Your Spirit so that we can be empowered to fulfill our purpose. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

• Almighty Father, thank You for being our strength and refuge in times of need. Give us the courage to face any obstacles that come our way and trust in Your divine provision throughout our day. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

• Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us unconditionally and never leaving us alone. Help us stay steadfast on the path You have laid before us as we seek ways to honor You with our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sixth Watch – 9 am-12 pm

The Sixth Watch – 9 am-12 pm: This is the sixth watch of the night and a time for thanksgiving prayer. It is a time to give thanks for all the blessings of the day and offer up gratitude prayers.

Scripture and Verses:

Ephesians 5:20, “Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Psalm 103:1-2, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”

Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Sample Prayers:

• Lord God, thank You for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon us. Help us to be grateful for all the good things in our lives and to offer up prayers of thanksgiving today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

• Almighty Father, thank You for being our source of hope and strength. We are so thankful that You are with us through every situation we face throughout the day. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

• Heavenly Father, we come before You praising Your holy name! Thank You for blessing us with so much love and grace each day of our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Seventh Watch – 12 pm-3 pm

The Seventh Watch – 12 pm-3 pm: This is the seventh watch of rest. 7 Biblical represents that (rest). The Bible states, “he will conceal me in his pavilion; in the secret place of His tent he will hide me” (Psalm 27:5). Seek God in the secret place and rest in His promises.

Scripture and Verses:

Matthew 6:6, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Psalm 91:1-2, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!”

Sample Prayers:

• Lord God, help us draw closer to You as we enter the secret place of prayer. Fill us with Your Spirit and give us a greater understanding of Your Word and power so we can glorify You through our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

• Almighty Father, thank You for loving us deeply and protecting us from harm. We pray that You would fill our hearts with peaceful knowledge of Your presence today. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

• Heavenly Father, You are our refuge and strength in times of trouble. Please help us to take this time to reflect on Your goodness and mercy as we come into Your presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Eighth Watch – 3 pm-6 pm

The Eighth Watch – 3 pm-6 pm: This is the last watch of the day. 8 Biblically symbolizes new beginnings, so this is a time when we are entering renewal. Why? We rejoice because of the power of the Cross. Symbolically, this watch represents Christ’s willingness to die for our sins. The hour of self-sacrifice, revival and rejoicing in Jesus Christ’s power reminds us of His great love for us.

Scripture and Verses:

Hebrews 13:20-21, “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Sample Prayers:

• Lord God, thank You for sending Your Son to die on the cross so that we could have eternal life. Help us to understand the power of His death and resurrection so that we can live more fully in Your presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

• Almighty Father, thank You for giving us newness of life through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Please fill our hearts with joy as we come into Your presence today and give us a deeper understanding of Your love and grace. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

• Heavenly Father, thank You for being a God who listens to our prayers and gives us hope and strength each day. Please help us draw closer to You as we pray today and rejoice in the power of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

And that’s it, folks- prayer watches.

In conclusion, The eight Prayer Watches offer a powerful way to deepen our relationship with God by praying and reflecting on His Word.

Whether it’s the first watch when we lay foundational prayer or the eighth watch when we rejoice in Christ’s death on the cross, each hour can be an opportunity for spiritual growth and renewal. May we never take these precious times of prayer for granted!


Heather Chesiyna_Signature_MOS

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