“Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Luke 22:46
Jesus is about to go to the cross. He is facing the greatest trauma of his life, and so He goes to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray.
But before He begins to pray, Jesus says to the disciples, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation” (Luke 22:40). He is not asking the disciples to pray for him. He is telling them that they need to pray for themselves. Then Jesus goes away to pray.
Later Jesus returns, wakes the disciples, and asks them: “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray so you won’t enter into temptation” (22:46). What does it mean to “enter into” temptation?
Imagine a salesman knocking at your door. You open the door, and he tells you what he’s selling. At that point, it’s not difficult to say, “Sorry. I’m not interested. Try the folks next door.”
But suppose you invite him in. He sits down in your living room and shows you the product. He tells you how much you need it, and how much better your life will be if you have it. Your mind and your heart are engaged, and now it’s harder to say ‘no.’
This is what it means to enter into temptation. You’re engaged with it. You’ve connected with it, and it’s no longer outside you; it’s in you.
This is what our Lord is talking about when He teaches us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation.”
That doesn’t mean, “Keep us from ever being tempted.” Every Christian will be tempted. The prayer means: “Do not bring me to the place where temptation gains power over me.”
Identify a recent time that you entered into temptation. How about a time when you were tempted, but you didn’t enter in?