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18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.

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18. alwaysGreek, "in every season"; implying opportunity and exigency (Col 4:2). Paul uses the very words of Jesus in Lu 21:36 (a Gospel which he quotes elsewhere, in undesigned consonance with the fact of Luke being his associate in travel, 1Co 11:23, &c.; 1Ti 5:18). Compare Lu 18:1; Ro 12:12; 1Th 5:17.

with all—that is, every kind of.

prayer—a sacred term for prayer in general.

supplication—a common term for a special kind of prayer [Harless], an imploring request. "Prayer" for obtaining blessings, "supplication" for averting evils which we fear [Grotius].

in the Spirit—to be joined with "praying." It is he in us, as the Spirit of adoption, who prays, and enables us to pray (Ro 8:15, 26; Ga 4:6; Jude 20).

watching—not sleeping (Eph 5:14; Ps 88:13; Mt 26:41). So in the temple a perpetual watch was maintained (compare Anna, Lu 2:37).

thereunto—"watching unto" (with a view to) prayer and supplication.

withGreek, "in." Persevering constancy ("perseverance") and (that is, exhibited in) supplication are to be the element in which our watchfulness is to be exercised.

for all saints—as none is so perfect as not to need the intercessions of his fellow Christians.