Watch and Pray

Dec 10, 2019

Good Morning Fellow Travelers,

Read: Matthew 26:36-46

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1Pe 5:8)

How can we take a strong stand in the time of temptation?

Open your Bibles to Matthew 26:36-46, and let’s look at the Gethsemane experience and the things that Jesus did and said there. Here we will find a guide for how we can resist temptation. I believe Jesus faced His greatest struggle in this garden. He won the victory right there. How did He win?

He called His disciples to watch and pray. He said that they should do that in order to resist temptation. I think this is the secret to resisting. Watch! Be alert to the enemy’s advance on our souls. Be perceptive to his attack against our minds. This watching can be made keener by persistent prayer. Jesus recognized that the disciples were in a weakened state. He also understood their willingness spiritually to join Him in His prayer and agony. He calls them to watchfulness and prayer.

Jesus also knew His only source of power. He called out, “Oh my Father!” I don’t think we can imagine the agony of soul that Christ was facing here. He needed the help of His Father. Even though He possibly knew that within hours His Father would turn His face away and let Him die for the sins of the whole world, He still cried out. Let’s come to the same source of power for victory: Our Father.

Tell others about your struggle. Ask them to pray with you. Jesus invited Peter, James, and John to join him in the garden. There are battles of the soul that you need others to help you with. Brothers and Sisters in Christ can assist you.

Surrender to God. Christ’s battle was not so much against sin as it was against His own will in the call to suffer. Verse 42 brings this out clearly, when Jesus prayed, “Thy will be done.” Never surrender to disobedience; never surrender to sin.

I love the words of Jesus. If you can, imagine what He was about to face and then place this in the context of our Lord’s statement; “Rise, let us be going.” Going where? Into the hands of the betrayer Judas; into the clutches of the misguided Jewish people and their rulers; into the murdering hands of Roman soldiers; yea, onto a cross to die.

I am so glad that our Lord won the victory. So can you.

~ James Baer ~

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