Watching in Relation to Prayer
1 Peter 4:7-11
But the end of all things is at hand: be you therefore sober, and watch to prayer.

How often it happens that when night comes a man prays rather from force of custom than from a sense of need. He has no prescribed form of prayer, and yet he finds himself continually repeating the same things. His supplications lack variety and force and definiteness. He is "as one that beateth the air." This comes in a great measure from the fact that he does not "watch unto prayer." He has taken little notice of his own spirit, and therefore he knows not his own weakness and his own necessities. The events of the day are not so remembered as to give form and colour and life to his evening supplications. The prayer that suits one day cannot effectually serve for all other days. Changes in ourselves and in our circumstances call for changes in our petitions. If a man pass through the day observing himself and increasing his self-knowledge, his devotions cannot always keep in old formal and familiar ruts, but they must sometimes flow with new vigour along the new channels which the new facts have made for them. We frequently confess that we know not what to pray for. Sometimes this ignorance is a weakness for which we are to be pitied. We cannot tell what tomorrow will bring forth, and therefore cannot tell what special grace to pray for. But sometimes our ignorance is our sin. We know not what to ask for because we have not by watching acquired the wisdom which guides supplication.

(C. Vince.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

WEB: But the end of all things is near. Therefore be of sound mind, self-controlled, and sober in prayer.

Watching for Answers to Prayer
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