…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful… – Ephasians 6:18
To pray and not to watch, is presumption. You pretend to trust in God, and yet you are throwing yourself into danger, as the devil would have had Christ do, when he tempted Him to cast Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple. If you pray to be kept, then be watchful. Prayer without watchfulness is hypocrisy. A man prays to be kept from sin, and then goes into temptation; his prayer is evidently a mere piece of mockery; for he does not carry it out in his practice.
Sometimes, however, ignorance may lead to prayer without watching. There are other things which ought not to be omitted. Let me tell you a simple story: There was a little school-girl who often did not know her lessons, and there was another girl, who sat near her, who always said her lessons correctly. Her companions said to her, “Jane, how is it that you always know your lessons?” Jane replied, “I pray to God to help me, and so I know them.” The next day, the other little girl stood up, but she did not know her lesson; and afterward she said to her friend, “I prayed to God about my lesson, but I did not know it any better than I did yesterday.” Jane said, “But did you try to learn the lesson?” “No,” she said; “I prayed about it, and I thought that was sufficient.” Of course she did not know her lesson without learning it. In the same manner, you must watch as well as pray. There must be the daily guard put upon tongue, and thought, and hand; or else prayer will be in vain. ~ C.H. Spurgeon