Praying is Watchful Praying - Watchful - Colossians 4:2
August 10, 2022, 9:00 AM

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

The word watchful implies alertness and responsiveness. This word is used in the story about the five wise and five foolish virgins. When the Lord comes, five are out of oil and five are prepared and ready to follow the bridegroom. We are then told to be wise and be watchful for you know not what day the Lord will come. Part of being watchful is expectant, looking for the answer to one's prayers.

Jesus said to His disciples on another occasion, "Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation." In one of Paul’s letters, he tells the church to be watchful for Satan is walking about like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. Be alert to spiritual danger and temptation that is around you.

Our praying needs to be that way. The first time this was used in connection with prayer was when Nehemiah was building the walls in Jerusalem. The enemies were trying to stop the project. They prayed, they worked, and they were ready to fight.

In Colossians there were problems with people distorting the truth. The people needed to pray discerning God's will and not man's will. They needed to pray realizing that problems can mount up quickly and they needed the Holy Spirit's wisdom. In terms of husbands and wives, children and parents, slave and masters, they needed to be alert to those problems of authority.

The practical application of being watchful in prayer, for me, means to work at thinking about what I am praying. Don’t just spout off pious words. When I do not feel like praying, I am alert to the fact that Satan is gaining a victory in my life and I seek to do it anyway or I'll be praying and my mind wonders. It is hard to concentrate. Does that ever happen to you? I think about all the things I should be doing or people I need to talk to. I found writing down the things that come to my mind so I don't forget helps. Sometimes I pray about them, then I'm able to get on with prayer, knowing I can come back to my note at a more appropriate time.

I am using prayer lists more these days. Sometimes I pray about different things on different days. I have requests that I pray about weekly and requests that I pray about daily. I have at times written down a specific prayer request that someone has asked me to pray about and then when there is an answer, I will jot down the date and the answer to that prayer. That exercise helped me to be watchful for the solution to the request that I might have ignored otherwise.

Do you have a problem with alertness and watchfulness in prayer? Then pray about that. Even before you pray ask the Lord to bring to your mind the things that you wish to pray about. I believe prayer is the mighty weapon for spiritual victory and a must when we are involved in spiritual warfare.

Confession and repentance are part of being watchful. Acknowledge any wrong heart attitudes or selfish motives in your praying. Ask the Lord to purify your heart and motives.

Prayer: Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. Ps 139:23-24

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