Scripture Verse

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41


Charles Wesley

Words: Charles Wes­ley, Hymns and Sac­red Po­ems (Bris­tol, Eng­land: Fe­lix Far­ley, 1739), Vol­ume 2, num­ber 84, pag­es 126–27.

Music: El­la­combe, Ge­sang­buch der Herz­ogl. Wir­tem­berg­isch­en Ka­thol­isch­en Hof­ka­pe­lle (Würt­tem­berg, Ger­ma­ny: 1784). Adapt­ed & har­mo­nized by Will­iam H. Monk in the 1868 ap­pendix to Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern, num­ber 366 (🔊 pdf nwc).

William H. Monk

Charles Wes­ley had ma­ny proofs of the truth­ful­ness of the [se­cond] verse of this hymn. Amongst the num­er­ous in­stanc­es of his es­cape from the hands of rob­bers and bru­tal per­se­cut­ors, he men­tions the fol­lowing:

I set out for Lon­don. In a mile’s rid­ing my horse fell lame. I sung the 91st Psalm and put my­self un­der di­vine pro­tec­tion. I had scarce end­ed, and turned the hut on Shot­o­ver hill, when a man came up to me, and de­mand­ed my mo­ney, showi­ng, but not pre­sent­ing a pis­tol. I gave him my purse. He asked how much there was.

About thir­ty shill­ings.

Have you no more?

I will see, put my hand in my pock­et, and gave him some half­pence.

He re­peat­ed the ques­tion, Have you any more?

I had thi­rty pounds in a pri­vate pock­et; bade him search my­self; which he did not choose.

He or­dered me to dis­mount, which I did; but begged hard for my horse again, prom­is­ing not to pur­sue him. He took my word and re­stored him. I rode gent­ly on prais­ing God. My bags, and watch, and gold, the rob­ber was forced to leave me. By the ev­en­ing I reached West­min­ster.

Ward, p. 114–15


Jesus, my Master, and my Lord,
I would thy will obey,
Humbly receive Thy warning word,
And always watch and pray.
My constant need of watchful prayer
I daily see, and feel,
To keep me safe from every snare
Of sin, and earth, and hell.

Into a world of ruffians sent,
I walk on hostile ground,
Wild human beasts, on slaughter bent,
And ravening wolves surround.
The lion seeks my soul to slay,
In some unguarded hour,
And waits to tear his sleeping prey,
And watches to devour.

But worse than all my foes, I find
The enemy within,
The evil heart, the carnal mind,
My own insidious sin:
My nature every moment waits
To render me secure,
And all my paths with ease besets,
To make my ruin sure.

But Thou hast given a loud alarm,
And thou shalt still prepare
My soul for all assaults, and arm
With never ceasing prayer.
Thou wilt not suffer me to sleep,
Who on Thy love depend,
But still Thy faithful servant keep,
And save me to the end.