“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
I like this passage a lot. Many people get the first part, not many are good at the second. Many people can come into prayer, but many aren’t willing to stick around afterwards. The Lord wants to extend our faith past the point at which we say “amen” into the time of waiting and, as this passage says, watching.
Watching is a lot more active than waiting. I imagine the man at shore waiting for the first glimpses of a sign of a ship. He’s watching for it ever so alertly. He’s fixed upon it; he’s pinpointed his horizons on this one thing. And it would give him much joy to see it when it comes.
And the Lord wants us to be watching when we pray- not being passive about our requests. Certainly not forgetting what we have prayed for. But keeping an eye on shore and an eye on Him.
Along with it, he wants us to be be filled with thanksgiving. Thankfulness for even the privilege of coming to Him. Thankfulness that He hears our every word, that not one of them falls to the ground. Thankfulness that he blesses the heart of faith and that he leaves no one who puts their trust in Him in shame. Thankfulness, because the Lord, even while the answer hasn’t even come, through prayer has given the grace and strength to stand up strong.
Let us continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving!