“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Mt 26:41, NIV)
Jesus has been concerned for His disciples. He knows they are vulnerable. He knows that in the next few hours when He is arrested and pressures become almost unbearable that the enemy will try to take them out. And He knows that Peter, in particular, is going to face a frontal attack from the devil. So He invites Peter, James, and John pray with Him in Gethsemane—to pray that they will not fall into temptation.
Have you ever tried to face temptation head-on? You stare at that chocolate and say, “I will not eat you, I will not eat you, I will not eat you!” and next thing you know, you’re licking the evidence off your lips. The spirit is willing—the flesh is weak. But praying about temptation brings the power of the Holy Spirit into the game. When the Spirit of truth is involved, suddenly the enemy isn’t as powerful. To be sure, the enemy is stronger than you are, but he is not more powerful than God!
Will-power, self-help techniques, accountability groups, positive self-talk, and so on, are not necessarily bad. In fact, they can be helpful. But by themselves they do not have spiritual power to deal with spiritual attacks. We need the power and truth of God to defeat the father of lies.
When you pray, ask the Holy Spirit to expose how the enemy is lying to you. The enemy does his best work by convincing us that God isn’t for us, He’s withholding from us, He won’t take care of us, and so on. These are all lies. The Spirit of God reminds us of God’s good purposes, care, provision, presence, and much more. When we stay with Him long enough to listen, He gives us whatever we need to stand against the enemy’s schemes.
Spend some time talking with God about your temptations. Ask Him to give you what you need to not fall into them. Expect Him to help you—watch for His provision—because He wants to and is able to help!