The watchfulness of prayer
“There is… a watchfulness in it (prayer), which is opposed both to sleepiness of body, and to coldness and indifference of mind, to all careless airs and negligent manner of performing it; and designs an intenseness of mind, and application of thought, and fervency of devotion, and affection n it. It lies in a concern, that the heart be lift up with the hands to God; in a care, that what is asked is according to the will of God, and that the whole be performed in sincerity, faith, and fear.
“This is what the Jews call, ‘the attention of prayer,’ and ‘the intention of the heart;’ and which, they say, is the root of prayer, the main and principal thing in it; and that every prayer that is not with intention, is no prayer; and which… lies in this, that a man turns his heart from all other thoughts, and seems to himself as if he stood before the Divine Majesty.”
John Gill, commenting on Colossians 4:2
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving