Bible Reading: Mark 14:32-42

“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38)

Our biggest battles against temptations such as time-wasting, laziness, lust, selfishness, and a cold and dry spiritual life are fought in prayer. If we think that we can win over temptations by our own strength, we are fooling ourselves. Our spirit may be willing, but our flesh is weak. 

When was the last time we delayed our assignments, saying we would do it later, but then never getting around to it because we are too tired after all the procrastination we do? When was the last time we wasted our time to satisfy ourselves with worldly and ungodly media? These things also lead us to forget our chores and disobey and disrespect our parents. Our spirit may be willing to live a godly life, and we may be willing to obey God. But, in reality, it is very hard. 

In the hardest moment of His life on earth, our Lord, Jesus, went to Gethsemane in prayer. In His humanity, Jesus was weak and apt to temptation. As the cross approached, He became distressed and troubled at what was to come, namely God’s wrath. In such a moment, Jesus was tempted to abandon the work of salvation. After all, what He was choosing to do was voluntary. He didn’t deserve a death punishment. 

Yet, Jesus sought His Father in prayer. In prayer, Jesus gave Himself once again to the Father’s will. It was on His knees that He won the battle against temptation and the weakness of the body. In prayer, Jesus resolved to obey the Father and continue the work of salvation so that we, God’s people, could be saved from sin and can return to a relationship with God. 

Christ did what no other man could do. After resolving Himself to obey His Father, Christ faced God’s wrath on the cross, which was meant to be directed at us. Yet, Christ defeated the curse of death and the power of evil on the cross. He made this evident in His resurrection. Because Christ reigns over evil, He alone is able to free us from the bondage of sin. In Him, we can live holy lives that are pleasing to God. 

As we progress in sanctification, we must know that apart from Christ, we can do nothing. However, in Christ, there is power for holiness. As Christ taught His disciples to pray and keep watch, so, our battle against sin and temptation in our everyday lives starts by looking upon our perfect Mediator who sympathises with our weaknesses. Let us resolve to begin our days in battle on our knees. Ask God to help us win against our laziness, lusts, selfishness, procrastination, etc. In prayer, we are made watchful and reliant on God. He shapes our hearts through prayer to pursue godliness and to keep our eyes fixed on pleasing Him. May God shape in us prayerful hearts that continually rely on Him. 

Lord, we praise You for Your wondrous works on the cross. Thank You that You reign over all things, including sin and evil. Please teach us to pray. Forgive us because our hearts are dry and apt to fall into temptation. Please help us to win against the sins and temptations which still entangle us every day. Help us to rely on You, and may Your Spirit work through us so that we may please You in holiness. In Jesus’ name, amen.