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.
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"
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
- "'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
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?