Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Mark 14:38 (NIV)
Watchful And Prayerful
Are you being watchful? Are you being prayerful? Are you allowing temptation to sneak up on you? Are you allowing temptation to take you by surprise? Those are interesting questions. How so? What makes these questions particularly interesting to you? Your questions seem to indicate that if I am watchful and prayerful, I will be able to see temptation coming. Or, if I am watchful and prayerful, I will be able to recognize a temptation for what it is. And that, if I am watchful and prayerful, I will be able to resist temptation. Maybe even, If I am watchful and prayerful, I will be able to make a course correction that will steer me clear of an approaching temptation. Well, what does your experience with not watching and being prayerless tell you? If I am not watching and prayerless, I will regularly fall into temptation. I will be easy prey for temptation. That is true. That is not good. Yes, I know.
What else do you know about temptation? You will provide a way out of temptation for me. What does that way out of temptation often look like? That is where watchfulness and prayerfulness come into play. As I am watchful and prayerful, I will clearly see two things. I will see temptation approaching. I will see your way of escape. Often, seeing temptation coming and the way of escape available occur very early and quickly. What do you mean by that? If I am not watching and if I don’t immediately take your way of escape, I will likely, almost certainly, fall into temptation. I need to take the way of escape, that you provide, when the escaping is good. Yes, you do.
What do you know about being prayerful? Being prayerful will strengthen my desire and resolve to resist and run from temptation. Being prayerful is like deciding in advance that I will not allow myself to be overtaken by temptation. Being prayerful, is the way to submit myself to you and resist evil at the same time. I will never have the strength, in myself, to simply resist temptation under my own power. I am weak. You are strong. As I am in prayer, with my heart and mind and life focused on you, I will be able to resist temptation. Why is that? You will help me. You will be with me. You will give me strength to stand against evil and resist temptation. Yes, I will help you to stand against evil and resist temptation as you are watchful and prayerful. Thank you, Lord. That is what I will do, I will be watchful and prayerful. That will be very good.
Lord, I will watch and pray so I will not fall into temptation. I will draw near to you and submit myself to you in prayer so I will be able to resist temptation. I will steer myself clear of temptation when I see it approaching. I will come to you for your protection. Amen
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