June 3, 2001
“Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation . . . .” (Matthew 26: 31)
© 2001 by Mary Ann L. Diorio, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved. This devotional may not be copied, in whole or in part, by any means whatsoever, without the written permission of Dr. Mary Ann Diorio. Copies may, however, be forwarded by email or printed out for personal use. All copies must be forwarded or printed out in their entirety.
Precious Disciple of Jesus Christ, the Daystar,
We live in perilous times, times that require constant vigilance against the assaults of the enemy. In our Scripture verse for this week, Jesus commands us to “watch” and to “pray.” Let’s look carefully at each of these words.
To watch as used in Matthew 26: 31 means to be on one’s guard against temptation. It means to be alert to the tricks of the enemy so that we will not fall into his trap. Temptation is often very subtle, and unless we remain vigilant, it will overtake us.
One of the chief ways we remain vigilant against temptation is through prayer. Prayer, especially praying in tongues, strengthens our spirit and prepares us to face temptation long before it comes. Because prayer is so powerful in helping us to resist temptation, Satan will do everything he can to keep us from praying.
How often have you promised yourself that you would get up an hour earlier to pray, only to push the snooze button and go back to sleep? How often have you tried to pray before bed, only to fall asleep before you finished?
Jesus rose early to pray, even after going to bed very late after a tiring day of ministry. He knew that He needed to pray in order to remain spiritually strong. We must do no less.
Watching and praying go hand in hand. Use these mighty weapons to protect yourself from temptation. Remember that anyone of us can be tempted in any way. He who thinks that he is immune to a certain kind of temptation is in grave danger of succumbing to it. He, however, who recognizes the devices of the enemy will take very seriously our Lord’s command to watch and to pray.
Your sister in Christ,
Dr. MaryAnn Diorio
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