February 9: “Defeating Temptation with Prayer”

Today’s Bible Reading:

Exodus 29:1-30:10
Matthew 26:14-46
Psalm 31:19-24
Proverbs 8:14-26

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Matthew 26:41 (NLT): “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

In Matthew 26, the reader has the luxury of knowing how the story plays out. We already know of Judas’ betrayal before it happens. We know of Peter’s denial before he did it.

So, when Peter tells Jesus that he would follow Jesus even to the point of death (Matthew 26:33-35), we know that his words were superficial. His words reveal his heart’s intention, but they lack the passion and spiritual strength required to carry them out.

After Peter’s confession, Jesus took his disciples out to the Garden of Gethsemane. He told Peter where he could find the spiritual strength to withstand the temptation that awaited him.

Listen to what He told Peter.

Matthew 26:40-41 (NLT): “Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, ‘Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!’”

Did you get that? Our spirit desires to follow the Lord, but our fleshly nature can’t do it.

What is the answer? What are we to do?

Pray!

“Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”

Prayer is where our passion and determination grow. Prayer is where we express our dependence upon the Lord and discover that He can give us the ability to fight off temptation.

But, we know what happened in the Garden. Peter didn’t pray, and so he fell to temptation and denied the Lord he loved.

There is a powerful principle here. Do you want victory over temptation? Do you want to become more like Jesus?

While many biblical principles come into play to help us attain a greater degree of Christlikeness, prayer is the most crucial activity.

It’s that simple.

“Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”

Will you find time to pray today? If you do, there will be temptations in your day that you might have ordinally stumbled into. Yet, they will fade away, and you will defeat them.

So, pray!

Photo by Samuel Martins on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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