“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.”
The word “watchful” means self-controlled, dispassionate (1:13; 5:8; I Thess. 5:6, 8; II Tim. 4:5). God expects those under suffering to be spiritually alert, vigilant, on guard. He wants us to be in control under any circumstance. A person on guard can be calm and collected when difficult times come. Keep your cool when things go haywire.
The New Testament used “watchful” for drunkenness. Drunkenness means that we are not in control of our mind or thought processes. A characteristic of true character is self-control.
God expects us to behave with restraint and moderation not permitting excesses. He wants believers to have sobriety of thought that avoids excesses in passion, rashness or confusion. “Do not be intoxicated with anxiety, care and pleasures. Be calm and collected. Don’t always be on a tear worrying about this or that.” Every football player needs self-discipline. We need this for school. We need it in business. We need it in prayer.
Even though the Lord warned Peter, James and John not to fall asleep, they fell asleep in spite of what the Lord said. He woke them up and yet they fell asleep again. Three times this happened.
Mt 26:40 “Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, “What? Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Effective prayer takes self-discipline.
Do you have a calm, sober disposition and self-discipline fit for prayer?
Watch that you do not fall asleep in prayer. Look out lest your mind wanders from consciousness contact with the Lord. The Devil will cause our minds to wander. We will think about a dozen different things rather than truly pray. Ten minutes will pass and we thought we prayed but all we did was let our minds wander.
If our sin capacity is in the ascendancy we will have no interest to pray. Peter, who wrote this epistle, knew all about this (Mt. 26:41). He did not watch and pray. He slept and prayed!
Lk 18:1 “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.”
Col 4:2 “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving”
Eph 6:18 “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”