Matthew 26:41 "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Have you ever been frustrated with the weaknesses of your flesh? Have you ever resolved never more to yield to a particular sin, yet when the temptation came, you fell right back into it?
It's happened to all of us. Even the disciple Peter. He swore he would never deny Jesus...but he did it anyway, time and time and time again. There is something we can do to keep from falling prey to temptations like that. We can "watch and pray." That's what Jesus told Peter and the other disciples to do in the Garden of Gethsemane.
He knew they were about to be tempted, and He knew that the weakness of their flesh would overcome them if they didn't strengthen their spirit through prayer. That's true for you and me, too. That's why in Jude 20-21, God tells us much the same thing that Jesus told the disciples that night. He says, "But you, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] on your most holy faith...praying in the Holy Spirit: Guard and keep yourselves in the love of God."
God knows even better than we do that our flesh has been trained to flow with the world's stream. He knows that even though our born-again spirits are reaching for Him, our untrained flesh will always have a tendency to fall into sin. So He's given us the ability to pray in other tongues, to strengthen our spirit and build it up until it takes ascendancy over our flesh. As we pray in the spirit, Romans 8:26 tells us, the "(Holy) Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf."
Is it any wonder the Apostle Paul said, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all! (1 Corinthians 14:18) It is one of the most powerful tools God has given us. So don't neglect to use it. Follow the instruction in Ephesians 6:18 and pray "always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit...watching thereunto with all perseverance."
Don't make the mistake that Peter made. When temptation comes to your door, don't let it catch you sleeping. Be prepared. Make sure your spirit is strong enough to rise above it.
Confession: I pray in the spirit more than anyone I know. I pray in the spirit so that my spirit man is healthy and strong. And so am I!
The Daily Bread
A devotional to equip, exhort, motivate and feed your spirit.
Pastor Larry Smoot is Senior Pastor of Church on the Rock in Stafford County, Virginia.