Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
To be devoted to something means to continue steadfastly and to persist in it. It's worth noting that in the New Testament it is about prayer more than anything else that we are told to persevere, to be tenacious.
In his book The Life You've Always Wanted, John Ortberg says prayer is learned behavior; no one is born an expert or ever masters it. We're always just beginners.
How, then, is prayer learned? I don't think it happens by mastering a set of techniques, though techniques may be helpful. Prayer is learned as we are mastered by the resurrection. Prayer operates in a resurrection atmosphere. It requires a commanding sense of God's presence, of being a citizen of the kingdom of God. John Piper writes that prayer is not a hotel intercom that we use occasionally for room service; it's a walkie-talkie that keeps us at all times in touch with headquarters.
Pray and be watchful, says Paul, using the imagery of guard duty and keeping alert. We are engaged in a spiritual war. The world seeks to squeeze us into its mold; the routine of ordinary life lulls us into complacency, blinds us to the great mystery of our place in Christ's kingdom. Be watchful.
And be thankful. We are watchful not in a spirit of fear but with confidence that our resources in Christ are greater than whatever the opposition can throw at us.
Almighty God, enable us through your Spirit to keep the lines of communication open with you, that we may be watchful, wise, and effective in the way we act toward others. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!