“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.”
NKJV - 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.
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The twelve hours of the night were divided into three-hour intervals, at the end of each of which sentries who had been assigned to keep watch from a city's observation posts for the presence or approach of threats during the preceding three hours were replaced with new personnel. The fourth watch of the night would thus have been the last such interval of that particular night, roughly corresponding to the period between 3:00 AM and 6:00 AM.
A Biblical story is mentioned in both the Gospels of Matthew and Mark: “Now in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.... Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I—do not be afraid. (Matt.14:25-27 and Mark 6:48-50). It is, within this period, probably at the beginning of it, after three o'clock in the morning, Christ came to his disciples, when they had been almost all the night at sea, tossed with waves, and in great danger. The Hebrew watch was divided into three watches, the first, middle and morning watch. As the Roman influence and supremacy was established, the number of watches increased to four and were described in numerical order 1st (6 pm – 9 pm); 2nd (9 pm – 12 am); 3rd (12 am – 3 am); 4th (3 am – 6 am). Likewise the day watch starts from 6 am. This fourth watch is always important because this is the last watch of the night. This watch is the time that satanic agents who went out to perform their activities are returning to their bases. This is the time of the morning when the Israelites were delivered from slavery in Egypt (Ex. 12 and 14). This is also the time Jesus walked on the water to help the disciples who were caught in the storm (Matt. 14:25-33). This is the time to establish the course of your day by speaking God’s Word and breaking everything that would attempt to hinder His will for your life to manifest on third day. (Ps.19:2). There is strategic significance in praying during the early morning hours. Though many are called to different times of the day or night to pray, prayer/worship during these hours are highly effectual in harnessing God's transforming power. Biblically, many strategic events took place, particularly during the night and early morning hours/watches. Some of them are: • Moses led the Israelites across the Red Sea (Ex. 14:25-26) • Jacob wrestled with God and met Him face to face just before entering into his destiny as Israel. (Gen. 32:22-31) • Gideon defeated the Midianites (Judges 7:19-24) • God heard David’s voice in the morning.(Ps.5:3) • Psalmist rises before the dawning of the morning (Ps.119:147) • The angels appeared to the shepherds in the field to announce the birth of the savior. (Luke 2:8-14) • Peter and Jesus walked on water (Matt. 14:25-26) • Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.... Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I—do not be afraid.(Luke 12:37, Mk. 6:48) • The bridegroom woes His bride in the night hours, (Matt. 25:1-13, Mk. 1:35) • In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. • Jesus was resurrected from the dead, in the early hours(Matt. 28:1) • Mary Magdalene rushed to the Tomb in early hours (Jn.20:1) Why did Christ wait until the 4th watch of the night? Why does He wait until the 4th watch of the night? There are many answers to a question like this. One answer is certain, God lets us struggle so that we might be humbled by our struggle. It is then that our Lord came to the disciples. He lets us struggle so that we might see that we have nothing. He lets us struggle so that we might have faith; and God lets us struggle so that we might see the reality of who He is. What is it that the disciples said after this took place? They fell down on their knees before Christ and said, “Truly You are the Son of God.” What to pray for during the prayer watches of the night 3am – 6am?. Pray for divine protection, pray for the Kingdom of Heaven to come to earth, pray for blessings to be released, pray for to defeat and destroy your enemies, pray for against the works of darkness, Pray for your enemies. After this 3am – 6am prayer watch, we are embarking on a new day with brand new mercies from the Lord. Sing praises to the Lord. This is the day that the Lord has made and we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps.118:24)
The Jews say that ``there are 4 watches in the night, and 4 watches in the day.'' -- the 3, first of which, they thought were properly the watches of the night, and the 4th was the morning. The first watch began at 6 o'clock in the evening, and lasted till 9; the second began at 9, and ended at 12, which was midnight; the 3rd began at twelve, and closed at 3; the 4th began at three, and ended at 6 in the morning. It surely was within that 4th watch, probably at the beginning of it, after 3 o'clock in the morning, Christ came to his disciples, when they had been almost all the night at sea, tossed with waves, and in great danger.
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