Watch and Pray
November 2, 2019
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
In the garden of Gethsemane on the night of His arrest, Jesus invited Peter, James, and John to accompany Him to a private place of prayer. Matthew records that Jesus was “sorrowful and troubled.” He felt that His soul was overwhelmed with anguish to the point of death. He needed some prayer warriors to lift Him up before the Father.
However, when Jesus returned from His first session in prayer, the three men were asleep. Matthew writes that “their eyes were heavy.” Jesus told them, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Jesus went away from them to pray two additional times and both times the men fell asleep.
“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” We know that too well. Our commitment wanes. Our determination dwindles. The spiritual disciplines we start don’t always get attention. We fall asleep when we most need to be awake. Jesus’ command to His disciples rings through the ages, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” Moment by moment, day by day, watch and pray. Temptation is always around the corner. A fall is only a step away.
Lord Jesus, please help me to watch and pray. Help me carry my willingness through to completion. In Your name I pray. Amen.
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