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April 8 – Prayer and temptation

“And when he came to the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you may not enter into temptation.’” – Luke 22:40 

Scripture reading: Luke 22:31-46 

Yesterday we saw the great blessing and comfort in the fact that Jesus prays for His people. Now Jesus commands His disciples to pray for themselves. This is not just offering a quick prayer, but to be praying. We all need to be praying so we can face the temptations and hardships that lie before us. Even Jesus needed to pray. He went off on His own, where in agony, He laid His prayers before the Father.

While Jesus pleads for mercy, the disciples fall asleep. I see myself there. Do you ever have it when you know you need to look to the Lord and lay your needs before Him, but you feel even that is too hard? Or does it happen that you know God has given you a task, but you can only focus on your own desires and you forget about what you are called to do?

It is ironic how we think prayer is so hard when what Jesus did is infinitely more difficult. Jesus was going to the cross. Jesus would drink the cup of God’s wrath right down to the dregs. Jesus would suffer and die for the sins of many. And Jesus stayed up all night, praying and trusting, and then would go to the cross.

Let this be a wakeup call for us. We are often spiritually asleep and vulnerable. We need to be living in prayer, laying our burdens before God in prayer, and looking to the Lord in trust.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that God will teach you and help you to pray. Turn to Psalm 62 and make that your prayer to God.

Rev. Simon Lievaart is a pastor for Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. He and his wife Jodi have four children.

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