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Keep Alert and Pray

Keep Alert and Pray

27 November 2009

Scripture:

39 He went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.” 40 Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you stay awake and watch with me even one hour? 41 Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!” (Matthew 26:39-41 NLT)

Jesus was facing the final terrible hours before his crucifixion. It hadn’t taken him by surprise. He knew hour by hour what was coming – he had the awareness the Spirit gave him and he had the prophecies of scripture and he knew full well what was ahead.

Even with the awareness of the eternal significance of his purpose (in a way we can only see hints of) he was tempted to side-step the suffering. He didn’t side-step, he faced it full on. But the thing that carried him through was the prayer that maintained his God-awareness and overcame his self-awareness and self-concerns.

Jesus faced temptation that could have ended God’s plan for our salvation. Jesus faced greater temptation than I ever will face and he overcame. He faced temptation with God-awareness, with prayer, and with a yielded will.

I need to keep alert and pray when I’m not facing great temptation so that I’ll have the habit and pattern of prayer when I am tempted – tempted to doubt, tempted to fear, tempted to run, tempted to quit.

If I haven’t put the disciplines of God-awareness in place in good times, what will I do in the hard times?

Prayer:

Father, Please challenge me, encourage me, correct me, and instruct me to keep alert and pray so that I will be ready to face and overcome temptation. I commit again to read your word, listen for your voice, and yield my will to you daily. How else will I be ready when temptation comes?

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