Continue in prayer, and watch in it with thanksgiving;
Read Chapter 4
Augustine of Hippo
When the blessed apostle was reminding us of the importance of prayer, he also reminded us at the same time about being watchful: “Be persistent in prayer,” he said, “being watchful in it.” Impure love, brothers and sisters, compels those who are possessed by it to keep awake; the shameless person watches, in order to seduce; the evildoer, in order to harm; the drunkard, to drink; the bandit, to slay; the selfindulgent, to spend; the miser, to hoard; the thief, to steal; the robber, to smash and grab. How much more, therefore, ought love to remain awake in holy and harmless people, if iniquity can extort wakefulness from the criminal and the corrupt? Sermons j.
This seems to indicate that the people of God did not fight with the hand or weapons so much as with the voice and tongue, that is, they poured forth prayer to God, and thus overcame their adversaries. Therefore, you, too, if you want to be victorious, listen to the apostle say, “Be assiduous in prayer, being wakeful.” This is the most glorious fight of the Christian, not to presume upon his own strength but always to implore the assistance of God.
Let us therefore strike off and break away from the bonds of sleep, and pray with urgency and watchfulness, as the Apostle Paul bids us, saying, "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same.".
In the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians: "Be instant in prayer, and watch therein."
Paul realizes that continuing in prayer can frequently produce restlessness. Therefore he writes, “watching,” that is, be sober, avoid wandering. For the devil knows, yes he knows, how great a good prayer is. Hence, he presses heavily on us as we pray. And Paul also knows how careless many are when they pray. Thus he says “continue” in prayer, as something that takes hard work, “watching therein with thanksgiving.” For let this, Paul says, be your work, to give thanks in your prayers both for the seen and the unseen, for his benefits to the willing and the unwilling, for the kingdom, for hell, for tribulation and for refreshment. This is how the saints normally pray, giving thanks for the benefits shared by all.
For, since continuing in prayers frequently makes persons listless, therefore he says, watching, that is, sober, not wandering. For the devil knows, he knows, how great a good prayer is; therefore he presses heavily. And Paul also knows how careless many are when they pray, wherefore he says, continue in prayer, as of somewhat laborious, watching therein with thanksgiving. For let this, he says, be your work, to give thanks in your prayers both for the seen and the unseen, and for His benefits to the willing and unwilling, and for the kingdom, and for hell, and for tribulation, and for refreshment. For thus is the custom of the Saints to pray, and to give thanks for the common benefits of all.
I know a certain holy man who prays thus. He used to say nothing before these words, but thus, We give You thanks for all Your benefits bestowed upon us the unworthy, from the first day until the present, for what we know, and what we know not, for the seen, for the unseen, for those in deed, ...