Watch and Pray

“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Matthew 26:41

As the hour approached in which Jesus knew He would be betrayed and eventually bear the cross for all mankind’s sins, He asked his disciples to watch and pray. He pulled Peter, James and John a little closer in to Him and asked them to watch and pray before He fell on his knees a little further away from them. Three different times in the garden, He got up from his prayer and came to them, only to find them sleeping. The third time, Jesus cautioned Peter about the temptations he would face after Jesus was betrayed and taken into custody.

Once the soldiers arrested Jesus, and took him away, Peter was overcome with emotion. For Peter, it was too late to pray for the strength he needed to bear the suffering to come. Just as Jesus warned him, Peter fell into temptation and denied Him, not just once or twice, but three times before morning. After denying he knew Jesus, Peter was brokenhearted.

Peter recognized his own failure to boost his weakness through time in prayer and learned to be watchful, and he shared his lesson learned in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” His weakness the morning of Jesus’ arrest allowed him to be “devoured” temporarily through his denial of Jesus.

Like Peter, we all face temptation. But we can overcome the enticement to sin as we watch and pray. Prayer equips us spiritually to fight and stand strong against temptation.

Today’s One Thing

What actions are you taking today to ensure you are equipped and ready to overcome temptation?


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