Praying When Tempted

Temptation is tough. Its a test. Its an enticement to do wrong. It may involve great pleasure, a chance to escape risk, or illegitimate gain. Whatever the offering, its usually attractive.

But Scripture calls giving in to tempting opportunities sin. It even warns us that repeatedly giving way to temptation can result in falling away permanently, with a total loss of interest in returning to God (Hebrews 6:1-8, according to one interpretation). Clearly we need God’s strength, and wisdom to flee (1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Timothy 6:11).

As Jesus and His closest companions faced great danger, they were afraid and tired (Luke 22:42-45). Jesus knew how vulnerable and confused that condition can make a person. He urged His followers to join Him in prayer so that they would not fall into temptation (Luke 22:40). They could not face the trials to come without new strength from God.

Earlier Jesus had taught His followers to ask the Father not to lead them into temptation (Matthew 6:13). There is no sin in being tempted. In fact, temptation is a sign that our spiritual lives are strong enough to recognize values that conflict with godliness. But giving in is sin. That’s why its crucial to take time to declare to God our weakness, weariness, and need for help in the midst of testing.

It may also help to have others pray with us, just as Jesus did in His hour of need. Do you have others you can turn to for prayer in times of difficulty? Are you available when others have that need?

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