Paul gave the Colossians the anatomy of effective prayer. Paul advised them, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (Colossians 4:2)
To get the most out of prayer, you must embrace and approach it as a matter of devotion. Paul couldn’t have asked the Colossians church to devote themselves to prayer if it had no benefits. Someone like Peter wouldn’t have declared, “we will devote ourselves to prayer…”(Acts 6:4), except there are some advantages to doing so.
When you study the life of men and women devoted to prayer, they are men and women of great virtue and power. Those who have experienced the benefits of dedicated prayer life never cease from such a lifestyle.
However, devotion to prayer must be coupled with watchfulness in praying. Watchfulness suggests that there is always something happening in the place of prayer that we must watch out for.
Habakkuk revealed one of the things we need to watch out for in prayer when he said, “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.”- (Habakkuk 2:1).
You wouldn’t know the joy of praying until you begin to catch what the Lord is saying in response to your prayer. The joy of devotion to prayer may become sour without effectively catching what the Lord is showing or speaking during the hours of prayer. Thus, watchfulness must accompany prayerfulness to deliver the benefits of devotion to prayer.
On the other hand, thankfulness is an expression of gratitude expected from those who have benefited from God’s faithfulness not only for granting their requests but also for admitting them into His presence and granting them an audience.
Which of these three virtues is missing in your prayer life, and what will you do this week?
Father, baptize me with the spirit of prayer and supplication in Jesus’ name.