About two weeks ago, I finished reading the letter to the Colossians in my morning meetings with God. As I was coming to its conclusion I considered chapter 4 verse 2: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” The part that struck me, in particular, is Paul’s admonition to “be watchful in [prayer]”. What he means is similar to what Jesus said to his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation” (Mark 14:38). Being watchful in prayer means to use prayer as means of protecting yourself from the subtle, insidious attacks of sinful temptation.
We all have need for this kind of vigilance, but what if we have already fallen into temptation unaware. I mean, we know that our hearts are deceitful and desperately sick (Jeremiah 17:9), right? So what do we do then? I think watchfulness in prayer would have us pray for God to show us our blind spots. We all have them, things we think, say, or do that are dishonoring to God, but because they’ve either been part of our lives for so long or we’re around other people that do them too, we don’t recognize them.
Recently, my wife brought to my attention one of my blind spots, and honestly, I was a bit shocked. I thought I had been so diligent to search my heart and examine my practices, and yet this one wasn’t even on my radar.
Bottom line, I can’t trust me and you can’t trust you, but we can trust God, so we need to ask him to show us our blind spots and give us the grace to prevent other practices from becoming blind spots too. There may be sins in your life that are stealing your joy in Christ and because they are covered by blind spots, you can’t understand why you’re so sluggish to worship God and serve him eagerly. Let us use prayer for those temptations we have yet to fall into and the ones we’re already knee-deep in.