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Praying against temptation

One of the last things Jesus said to his disciples: "Pray that you will not fall into temptation."
One of the last things Jesus said to his disciples: "Pray that you will not fall into temptation."
Photo: Julia Tidd

In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus gave us all a good reason as to why we should pray. Other areas of the Bible state we should pray because we are closer to God at that time (Deut. 4:7), in order to be forgiven for our sins (2 Chron. 7:14), we should pray for peace (Psalm 122:6), for those who persecute and mistreat us (Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:28), and that we should pray for each other (James 5:16). But in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus gives us another reason- to resist temptation and sin. In fact, three of the four Gospels hold the same message, in the same words- “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” (Matt. 26:41; Mark 14:38; Luke 22:40) Two of those Gospels elaborate, “The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Matt 26:41; Mark 14:38)
Generally, when something is repeated in the Bible, it is something we know to take notice of. It is for our benefit. It is something vitally important. Each of the four Gospels gives slightly differing accounts of Jesus’ life and, in this case, his last hours. Jesus said these words a very short time before he was arrested and then crucified. However, on this point, they are all the same. When you consider that all of these books were written decades after Jesus’ death, the very fact that these statements, in their exactness, were ingrained into the minds of the disciples is something we should take note of.
“Pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” We face temptations everyday. We may each have to battle different temptations. They may be big or little but they are there. Some you may be aware of, others you aren’t. How many of you believe you are a good person who does good things? Most of you, I’d bet. How many of you believe you fight the good fight? How many of you ask for help? Got you on that one, huh? Not many of us are willing to ask for help on our sins. We don’t want to admit to others that we have them. But, there is one you can go to for all things- God. He already knows you inside and out. He knows what you won’t admit even to yourself. He asks that we “humble themselves and pray and seek my face” He will hear us. (2 Chron. 7:14) God will give you an out- “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Cor. 10:13)
So, why not try it? Each morning as you get up, say a prayer for God’ help to fight the temptations in your life and then watch for the ways He gives you an escape. If you do this earnestly, He will provide.
McKinney Memorial Bible Church will be following Jesus’ last hours in the next weeks leading up to Easter. There are two services you may attend- 9:30 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.


  • Becky Bouldin 5 years ago

    Great article Julia. Thanks!!!
    Our Father who art in heaven,
    hallowed be thy name.
    Thy kingdom come.
    Thy will be done
    on earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread,
    and forgive us our trespasses,
    as we forgive those who trespass against us,
    and lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.
    For thine is the kingdom,
    and the power, and the glory,
    for ever and ever

  • Hone Phillips 5 years ago

    Thank you Julia for the reminder that we do not *have* to give in to temptation.

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