Being watchful, vigilant and awake are admonitions given to believers often. When believers are not alert and agile, they could be easily deceived. Paul writes: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.: (Colossians 4:2) In fact, putting being watchful before being thankful. There are many devotees who only offer petitions as prayers. There are disciples who are always grateful and thankful. However, very few are His servants who are watchful.
1) Wakeful: Being watchful means to be wakeful. The warning is not to sleep off in prayers. Sadly, some people move into deep sleep as soon as prayer time begins. Some are awake but behave or pray as if they mumble in sleep. Like sleep walking, some people wander off during prayers.
2) Watchful: Believers are expected to be watchful of at least three things. First, the spiritual realm. Christians are in a zone of conflict where unseen evil demonic forces oppress individuals, families, communities, and nations. They are expected to be on vanguard. (Ephesians 6: 1-10) For example there are cities that are notorious for gambling or adultery or addiction or drugs or violence. Second, to be watchful of local context. Being alert of contemporary issues that are happening around us. They could be inspired by Satan, which works against the purpose of God. Knowing Satan’s strategies, believers’ prayers should be preventive and proactive, as offence is the best form of defence. Third, is to be watchful, how God answers our prayers. God works out better answers than our expectations and verbalised prayers. (Ephesians 3:20)
3) Steadfast: Paul writes that we have to be steadfast in prayers. Not just in posture, but in the content. Some may have an attitude of prayer but do not have watchful contents to express in prayers. They end up mumbling wishful contents that are not in alignment with the Will of God.
4) Thankful: Believers ought to be watchful to be thankful. Many are unaware of God’s marvellous answers for their prayers as they pray and forget.
Am I steadfast in being watchful and thankful?