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Keep Alert in Prayer
Bible study on prayer.

We recently talked about our devotion to prayer. So in this article, I want to build upon those thoughts and talk about keeping alert in prayer.

Pray To Stay Alert
We keep alert in prayer, and on guard against the deception of sin.

  • "With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints" (Eph. 6:18).
  • "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it . . ." (Col. 4:2).

"Alert" means to be ready, watching so that a calamitous tragedy doesn't overtake us.

So we pray, asking God to help us be on guard against sin, so we overcome the schemes of the devil, and no one takes us captive through philosophy and empty deception (Eph. 6:11; Col. 2:8).

Alert in Prayer, with Thanksgiving
To keep alert in prayer, we must have an attitude of thanksgiving. Any other attitude won't result in alertness against sin.

  • "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving" (Col. 4:2).

Our attitude of thanksgiving is expressed in several ways, but most importantly in the words of our prayers.

We thank God when we pray, like Jesus who thanked God when He prayed before raising Lazarus from the dead.

  • "So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, 'Father, I thank You that You have heard Me'" (Jn. 11:41).

Just like the old hymn says:

Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done.

Example: The Model Prayer
When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He gave them a model prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).

In the prayer, Jesus taught them to give thanks, praying that God would deliver them from evil, rather than leading them into temptation.

By praying this way we remain alert, on guard against Satan and the deception of sin, as we look for the way of escape God provides when we're tempted (1 Cor. 10:13).

Example: Apostles in Gethsemane
The evening He was arrested, Jesus told Peter, James, and John to keep watch with Him. Then Jesus stepped away from them and prayed.

When He returned, Jesus found the apostles sleeping, and said to Peter, "'So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; . . . '" (Matt. 26:40-41).

Notice that the purpose of watching and praying was to stay alert, and not enter into temptation.

Today, we watch and pray to stay alert, just like the apostles in the garden.

As a favorite hymn says:

Watch and pray, watch and pray,
For we know not the hour when the Lord shall come:
Watch and pray, watch and pray,
And be ready to enter the soul's bright home.

Areas of Alertness
We need to focus our prayers on several areas of life to stay alert.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Lk. 22:40, 46 Pray that you don't enter into temptation.
  • Acts 20:29-31a Pray that false teachers and false doctrines don't overtake you.
  • 1 Cor. 16:13 Pray that you remain strong and steadfast in the faith.
  • 1 Th. 5:16 Pray that you remain sober, and don't spiritually fall sleep.
  • 1 Pet. 5:18 Pray that you're alert, watching for Satan, his schemes, and his deceptions.
  • Matt. 25:13 Pray that you're alert, watching for Christ's coming.

Because we're serious about our struggle against the forces of darkness and wickedness, we pray about our spiritual fight. And as a result, we stay alert.

How serious do you take your struggle against Satan and sin?

Do you take it serious enough to devote yourself to prayer, and stay alert?

Are you on guard against Satan and sin?

Are you ready to die, and for Christ's return?