A Study On The Eight Prayer Watches In The Bible
James tells us in our bibles that the “prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (5:16). I don’t know about you, but if I have prayer concerns in my life, I’ll want to go directly to a “righteous man/woman” for my requests!
As we pray, we stand to watch over our families, cities, and nations. Just as men stood on the city walls in the Vigil to watch for approaching danger, God calls us to be modern-day WATCHMEN to warn those who are in danger (2 Kings 9:17-18).
We are to watch not only for the enemy’s activity but also for the manifestation of God’s plans in our lives–to know God’s will: [Reference -https://theworddetective.blog/2019/04/23/where-theres-a0w…y-but-whose-will/]
Today more than ever, it’s important that we PRAY and SEEK the mind of the Lord: “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Mathew 6:10). Major decisions we face require us to know God’s individual will for our lives.
The Bible speaks of “WATCHES”–specific times of the day or night.
For the purpose of understanding what “Watch” refers to in the Bible, let me give you one definition I discovered in my study: ‘looking at someone or something for an amount of time and paying attention to it as well as being responsible for guarding or protecting someone.’ (2 Samuel 18:25; 2 Kings 9:18; Psalm 127:1; Isaiah 62:6).
Basically, there are 8 watches over a 24-hour period.
Before I dived into this study in preparation, I thought there were only four WATCHES. What I discovered was the Romans changed the timing of the watches: First Watch began at 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM, and every four periods thereafter–but the Jewish custom was 8 Watches in a 24-hour period. That’s because everyone has a prayer watch, even though they might not know it. This is why you might find yourself repeatedly praying at specific times of the day or night. If you have ever been awake in the middle of the night as I have, or wonder why you are being led to pray at specific times, it’s probably because God wants you to pray or intercede for someone.
EVERY PRAYER WATCH HAS A PURPOSE!
FIRST WATCH – [The Evening Watch from 6 PM to 9 PM]
This watch is known as the Period of Passover or supper time. It’s a time for reflection after a long day at work, or school, and the hustle and bustle of life in general.
Jesus used the Evening Watch to go aside and pray (Matthew 14:15-28).
The Second Watch [9 PM – 12 PM] – The period to pray for strength against all trials.
During this WATCH, intercessors are able to impact the spiritual realm before the ENEMY gets ready to ‘raise hell’! Psalm 119:62 says, “At midnight I rise to give thanks for your righteous laws.”
It was at midnight that God struck down the first-born of Egypt, resulting in His people being released from captivity and set free to worship Him.
It is the WATCH when God deals with the enemies and the ones trying to keep us from entering into His perfect plan for our lives.
In the natural, the time is characterized by deep darkness.
In the spiritual realm, the Second Watch is when wicked assignments and sabotage from the enemy is set in motion. That’s why it’s important for intercessors at this particular time to watch and pray. God’s protection over families, cities, and nations.
Psalm 68:1 – New International Version (NIV)
 May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him.
This is also the time for divine judgments, deliverance, prayer for the economy, tearing down walls of darkness, and all wicked structures from our educational, religious and political systems.
How and What do I pray for?
During this Prayer Watch, pray aloud Psalm 59 and Psalm 68:1-4 – use this time to praise and worship and exalting God. [READ aloud Psalm 148].
The THIRD WATCH–the Breaking of Day Watch [12:00 AM to 3:00 AM]
This is a period of much spiritual activity. This WATCH HOUR will strengthen your faith! It is the same time that Peter denied Christ three times (Matthew 26:34, 74; Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:34; John 13:58).
This WATCH is the darkest and most demonic part of the night, especially at midnight.
Witches, warlocks, and Satanist have fun and start their chants during this part of the night. Satan actively operates during this time because this is the time men and women are in a deep sleep and not as many people praying to oppose him (1 Kings 3:20).
Seasoned prayer intercessors are needed during this WATCH. We must not be afraid of witchcraft during this WATCH, for the Lord has given us dominion and authority over, not some things, but ALL things!
This is the time for spiritual warfare.
This is the time to wake out of sleep and confront every storm of destruction and distraction that’s happening in your life, robbing you of God’s blessings and provisions.
Also, it’s the time to speak peace and calm over every situation of uproar and confusion around you.
It’s time to strengthen yourself spiritually and seek direction.
Be vigilant during this time and WATCH for God’s revelation, a breakthrough in His plans and purpose for your life and territory.
Time to pray for release from every prison.
The Apostle Paul and Silas were released from PRISON during this time period (Acts 16:25).
In addition, God released the people of Israel from Egypt at this time frame (Exodus 12:29, 31).
And according to Judges 16:3-4, Samson escaped from Gaza at midnight while pulling up the gates of the city and carrying them out with him.
A Time to make your pleas in prayer.
This is the period to PRAY for God’s provision to be released (Luke 11:5-13; Acts 16:3).
It’s also a time for miracles to take place and for applying the blood of Jesus.
DREAMS & VISIONS
Often, we are awakened during this time of night with dreams God has given us. God uses DREAMS and VISIONS to bring instruction and counsel to us while we sleep.
He also reveals areas where we need to concentrate our prayers and intercessions (Job 33:15).
The devil can also attack you in DREAMS (nightmares), so always pray before you go to sleep, asking God to keep you from the enemy’s devices.
Prayer Proclamations for this WATCH:
- Protect my mind while I sleep (Psalm 4:8).
- “Father, You said in Your Word that whatever we loose on earth is loosed in heaven, so through the name of Jesus and the POWER of His blood, I bind and break all witchcraft, curses, spells, and powers of the DARKNESS working against me. You order Your angels to protect me wherever I go. They will hold me up in their hands…” (Psalm 91:11-12).
The Fourth WATCH (The Morning Watch from 3:00 A.M. to 6:00 A.M.)
This WATCH is always important for it is the last WATCH of the night.
This WATCH is the time that satanic angels who went out to perform their activities are returning to home base.
This is the time of the morning that the Israelites were delivered from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12 and 14).
It’s also the time of the morning when Jesus walked on water to help the disciples who were caught in a storm (Matthew 14:25-33).
This is the time of day where we should establish the direction for the day by speaking God’s Word for breaking everything that would attempt to hinder His WILL in your life (Psalm 19:2).
COMMAND AUTHORITY FOR YOUR MORNING!
This is a DISCIPLINED Prayer WATCH for those who have the power and training to wake-up early to set the atmosphere for the upcoming day.
This is a time of opportunity to set things in place before the devil and his henchmen have a chance to ruin it!
Prayer decrees for this WATCH:
- “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plan.” (Proverbs 16:3).
- I enforce Your plans and purpose for my life over and against the plans and purposes of Satan. And Satan, the Blood of Jesus is against you! You have NO AUTHORITY over my life! (Isaiah 54:17)
- Father, You will defeat my enemies! (Deuteronomy 28:7)
The Fifth WATCH (The Early Morning Watch from 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M.)
I have chosen this time as my personal prayer watch. Yes, and it has taken much discipline to offer my pleas and thankfulness to my God!
It is the time that God strengthens Christians (Acts 2:15; Psalm 2:7-9).
The spiritual significance of Sunrise is having Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, RISE over us (Malachi 4:2). During this WATCH, pray for such issues as healing in your body, relationships, family, government, and the economy.
Time for the Holy Spirit to prepare us for service.
Acts 2:15 says, …it was the “third hour of the day” (or 9:00 A.M.) when the Holy Spirit descended in the Upper Room at Pentecost to equip the gathered 120 disciples for service.
Regular work schedules usually begin between the hours of 6:00 A.M. and 9:00 A.M.
As you step out in faith, ask the Holy Spirit to equip you for the day. And yes, it’s okay to pray directly to the Holy Spirit!
Prayer Requests for this WATCH:
- Lord, this day I entrust my work day to You and I know my plans will work out because I can do everything You ask me to with the help of Christ Jesus who gives me the strength and power to succeed (Philippians 4:13; Proverbs 16:3).
- I plead the Blood of Jesus over myself. I cover my body, mind, emotions, and spirit with the Blood of Jesus.
- I curse at the root of every attack upon my health (physically and emotionally) through the Blood of Jesus.
- I have been REDEEMED out of the hands f the devil!
The Sixth WATCH ( 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.)
Time to see God’s PROMISES fulfilled!
This is the time to watch for the Word of the Lord be fulfilled in your life. It’s also the time to receive a supply of all resources needed for every project God has assigned you to fulfill (Exodus 12:35-36).
This is the time of day that I prepare for my upcoming blog-study for the week.
PRAY for the provision to accomplish whatever God wants you to do.
Prayer Decrees for this WATCH:
- I give myself completely to You, as a living sacrifice, who has been raised from the dead, and I offer myself as an instrument in Your hands for Your good purposes.
- Because I reverence and honor Your Name, Your goodness shines on me like the sun with healing in its rays!
The Seventh WATCH (12:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.)
Midday is an hour of REST or a time to seek diligently the LORD. During this WATCH, Jesus was on the Cross atoning for our sins and the restoration of man’s relationship once more with God.
Additionally, Peter had a VISION of the clean and the unclean animals which God used to let Peter know that God’s plan was to include the Gentiles in His redemptive plan. (Acts 10:1 – 11:18)
Also, it was the prophet Daniel who always turned towards home to PRAY during this watch, (Daniel 6:10-11)
Unfortunately, this is also the time for DESTRUCTION to run rampant in our nation!
It’s the time of the Secret Place of The Most High (Psalm 9:1-2).
Time of letting your light shine brighter (Proverbs 4:18)
 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shinning ever brighter till the light of day. [NIV]
The midday is the beginning of the sixth hour (12:00 P.M.). It is the time when the sun is at its fullest.
PRAY that your life and those around you will be bright.
This is also the time to PRAY to not be led into any temptation, trap or snare of the enemy.
The Eight WATCH (3:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.)
The Hour of Dying to Self and Rejoicing in the Power of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ died on the cross during this watch (3:00 P.M.). He took on the sins of man to be reconciled to God by His BLOOD. The Apostle Paul said “I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life O now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” [AMP]
After His resurrection, Jesus gave us the POWER to live a life of VICTORY and the AUTHORITY to carry out God’s Will on earth (Matthew 28:18-20).
PRAYERS FOR THIS WATCH:
- I give myself completely to You. I am a tool in Your hands, to be used for Your good purposes. Sin has no power over me because I’m no longer tied to the Law where sin enslaves me, but I’m free under Your favor and mercy (Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:13-14).
- You have begun a good work within me and You will continue to help me grow in Your grace until Your task within me is finally done and You call me home or when Jesus returns for His Church, His Bride.
In the Gospel of Mark, after The Last Supper, Jesus and His disciples went out to the Mount of Olives –“…Then they went to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to His disciples, Sit down here while I pray.” (verse 32)
Jesus took with Him Peter, James and John...”Remain here and keep awake and be watching.”
But they couldn’t keep awake to watch while their Master prayed to the Father to take away His grief: “And He came back and found them sleeping…Have you not the strength to keep awake and watch for one hour?” Three times Jesus return to His followers to find them not watching and fast asleep.
So what is your WATCH?
This past week in study, I found myself praying to my heavenly Father at each of the 8 WATCHES. And yes, my prayer decrees were short, especially during the third and fourth watch.
I hope this study has encouraged you not only to continue in prayer but to offer a living sacrifice so that you prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).
CREDITS and Sources:
Sources for this Study: Studying the 8 Prayer Watches of the Bible – A Praying Life by Yvonne Perkins.
Understanding the Eight Prayer Watches – New Levels in God.
Phot/Images: Google Image Search.
Bible Translations: New International Version (NIV); Amplified Bible (AMP); or as referenced in the images and text.
Dictionary: Cambridge Dictionary