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Pray That You May Not Enter Into Temptation
Bible study on temptation and prayer.

The night Jesus was betrayed, He took the apostles to the garden with Him to pray, commanding them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation" (Lk. 22:40).

When Jesus returned to the apostles He found them sleeping, and said, "Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation" (Lk. 22:46).

Pray About Temptation All The Time
Jesus' command in the garden illustrates our need to pray about temptation all the time.

Too often we wait till we're tempted to pray about it. But Jesus teaches us not to wait; we should pray about temptation before we're actually tempted.

Pray That You Aren't Led Into Temptation
When teaching the disciples to pray, Jesus gave them a model prayer.

In the prayer, He teaches us to ask God not to lead us into temptation, but to deliver us from evil (Matt. 6:13).

In other words (as is brought out in the Greek), we're to ask God to not allow Satan to lead us into temptation. There no implication by the prayer that God personally leads anyone into temptation (Ja. 1:13).

Stay Alert in Prayer
Prayer is an important part of fending off temptation.

We stay alert by devoting ourselves to prayer, directing our lives toward God and His will, and fleeing the devil.

  • "With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints" (Eph. 6:18).

Prayerfully Alert with an Attitude of Thanksgiving
An attitude of thankfulness is necessary for our prayers to be effective. It keeps our minds focused on God and His blessings, rather than the world.

  • "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Th. 5:16-18).

When we pray about temptation, it's imperative that we have an attitude of thanksgiving, setting our minds on the things above, rather than worldly things.

  • "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving" (Col. 4:2).

Prayerfully Cast Your Cares on God
Many people are tempted in times of trouble, like Israel who turned from God in the wilderness when life became difficult. They wanted to return to Egyptian slavery, rather than endure as God's children.

But as Christians, we turn our problems over to God, and trust Him to deal with them in the best possible way.

  • "'Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him'" (Matt. 7:7-11)!

By casting our cares on God, we stay alert, guarding against our adversary, the devil.

  • "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Pet. 5:6-8).

Pray for a Way of Escape
God promises to provide a way of escape with every temptation.

  • "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it" (1 Cor. 10:13).

But we shouldn't take God's promises for granted. Just as we pray for the necessities of life, like food and clothing, we should pray for a way of escape from temptation.

And in our prayers as we give thanks, we're thankful for our escape from temptation.

Pray For Help to Take the Escape
Not only should we pray for a way of escape from temptation, we should pray for help identifying it and taking it.

For some Christians, the way of escape was withstanding torture to the death.

Sometimes it's not easy to see the escape the Lord provides, and it's not always easy to endure.

But as God's children, we know He won't allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear, so we know we're always strong enough to take whatever escape God provides from sin (1 Cor. 10:13).

We trust God, and walk through the door that delivers us from the temptation, hence preserving our souls.

Jesus teaches us to pray about temptation all the time, staying alert and watchful, as Satan prowls about seeking to devour us.

Are you praying about temptation, especially when you aren't being tempted?