I think often times Christians are much too passive about the way they pray. We tend to do it too quickly and with too little genuine concern for the things we are praying about, as if it’s just some meaningless chore that we have to check off of our list of things to do.
But prayer really matters and we need to do it faithfully and vigilantly:
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2 NIV).
There are three words in this verse above that I want to especially focus on. First of all, we need to DEVOTE ourselves to prayer, because it is serious business. We pray to the one true God who created the universe, who sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sin, and our prayers are an important part of a relationship with Him. He is worthy of nothing short of our full devotion in prayer.
We must be WATCHFUL in our prayers. We need to be looking hard for things to pray for, and for the answer to our prayers. We need to look for opportunities to pray for others.
Finally, we must be THANKFUL for answered prayer. Oftentimes God does not answer our prayers in the way that we anticipated. God has many times demonstrated His wisdom to me by answering prayers in ways that I did not initially want Him too, but afterwards, as I became more humble, I began to see why He didn’t do it the way I wanted. God really answers prayers and looks out for us, so we need to be thankful when He answers them. It is good for us to keep a tally of our prayer requests, so that we don’t forget to say an appreciative “thank you” when He answers them.