Praying to Avoid Temptation

Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Matthew 26:41

Jesus told His disciples in Gethsemane, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. It was not the first time that Jesus taught His disciples to pray in order to avoid entering into temptation. The model prayer that Jesus left us, the Lord’s Prayer, includes praying not to fall into temptation. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:13)

Why is the Lord so insistent that his disciples pray not to enter into temptation? He explained very clearly when he said that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Man is a tripartite: body, soul and spirit. Our body is the flesh, the body composed of multiple organs composed of cells where numerous chemical reactions occur. The soul is the part of us that keeps our thoughts, emotions, decisions and will. The spirit is the part of us that allows us to contact with God because God is Spirit. Therefore, when we pray, our spirit receives feedback from God and if we let our mind operates on our spirit, our decisions are subject to the will and direction of God.

On the other hand, if our flesh, in its weakness governs our decisions, we will be subject to succumb to any temptation, because everything will depend of where the hormonal balance of the body tilt. Praying to God for allowing to not entering into temptation will lead us to make decisions in the spirit not in the flesh. The true God’s will is that we walk guided by His Holy Spirit; therefore, pray not enter into temptation will always be a prayer answered because is according to the will and purpose of God. Let us heed to what Jesus commands us.

Similarly that man is tripartite, we also have three enemies that hinder our relationship with God, the devil, the world and our flesh. Many might think that our worst enemy is the devil; but defeat or chase him away from us is not impossible, especially if we follow the instructions of the Bible in James 4:7: Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. And for the world, the Lord tells us in John 16:33 what to do:  These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. If we submit to God and trust Him, both the devil and the world would cease to be dangerous enemies for us.

So we only have one enemy to defeat: our flesh. It is as if we were fighting against ourselves, which makes it harder to combat. Just stay focused on God, in constant communication with Him through prayer frees us from the temptation which would lead us to sin and offend our Heavenly Father. Then submit our flesh and pray more to avoid temptation. God bless you.


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