Day 33: Pray That You Don’t Enter Into Temptation

Day 33: Pray That You Don’t Enter Into Temptation

Besides telling them to be alert and watch with Him, Jesus further instructed that they should pray that they would not enter into temptation. Earlier in the evening they had all sworn faithfulness, even unto death, and He had responded that they would all abandon Him. They weren’t being hypocrites, they just didn’t know the depths of their own hearts, nor the crisis they would be facing. He instructed them to pray against the temptation to lose their faith and footing in the face of what lay before them.

The word for pray used here is in the tense indicating an ongoing activity. He was not telling them to pray once that they would not enter into temptation, but to continually pray such. In the next few hours He would be demonstrating this persevering kind of prayer Himself. But, whether it was the same misplaced self-confidence that had proclaimed their unwavering devotion earlier that evening, or the lateness of the night after a stressful day, they failed to follow His command or heed His warning, and the results were inevitable.

When they had asked Jesus to teach them to pray, one of the petitions He had taught them was, “Lead us not into temptation.” Here again He was emphasizing the importance of praying away temptation before it lands—that either we might avoid it altogether, or we might have a better chance of resisting it when it comes to us. This would be particularly effective if we prayed with the fervor Jesus demonstrated when He pleaded for God’s will to be done in His life. Such praying not only gives us strength to resist temptation, it gives us insight into the traps the enemy lays for us to fall into. If we see a trap for what it is, we are less likely to stumble into it. If we are earnestly praying for God’s will in our lives, then we are more unlikely to willfully disobey what He clearly wants for us.

Spurgeon warns us, “Some of you pray when you are, as it were, at Calvary but not at Gethsemane. I mean, you pray when trouble comes upon you, but not when it is on the road; yet your Master here teaches you that to conquer at your Calvary, you must commence by wrestling at your Gethsemane.” At Gethsemane Jesus settled the matter of whose will would win the day at Calvary, and the trials that preceded it. If only His disciples had—if only we would! There would be far less defeat and shame in our lives if we would only follow His command.

• How often do you sincerely and fervently pray that you will not enter into temptation? How would it affect your besetting sins if you did it more?
• How well do you know the depths of your own heart? Ask the Lord to show you. How has misplaced self confidence ever tripped you up?

Lord, how I need to heed this call! Not just to pray against temptation, but to do so with passion—at Gethsemane, not waiting until Calvary. Reveal my heart to me, and make me wary of thinking I can stand on my own. Give me the spiritual insight I need to avoid and overcome what so easily ensnares me.

by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries