“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5 (NIV) You can trace human restlessness all the way back to the Garden...
“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Matthew 26:41
Keep these two together. Watching without praying is like getting a diagnosis without a prescription. Praying without watching is like being in a pharmacy without knowing what’s wrong with you. The medicine you need is available, but you don’t know what to ask for.
Praying about your temptations can make them worse, if all you do is focus on them. This is especially true with worry, lust, and conflict. The more you focus on them, the more they multiply. So pray positively: “Lord, enlarge my capacity to love. Don’t let me give in to despair.”
Notice Jesus’ promise: “Watch and pray… that you may not fall into temptation.” Temptation is a double-edged sword. It was the undoing of Judas, but it was the making of Peter. Some people receive God’s Word. They’re like plants that spring up quickly. But when temptation comes, they wither (Mat. 13:3-6). This is what happened to Judas.
But God also uses all kinds of trials to prove that your faith is genuine. This will result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Pet. 1:6-7). The time of your greatest testing may prove to be your finest hour! Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s great, if a person triumphs over temptation. But I failed.” Well, so did Peter.
Jesus prayed for Peter when Peter didn’t pray for himself: “Simon, Satan demanded… that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail” (Luke 22:31-32). This made it possible for him to be restored, and what Christ did for Peter, He’s able to do for you.
What situation do you need to pray about today?