Watch and Pray (Matthew 26:40–41) - Radical
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Watch and Pray (Matthew 26:40–41)

“And Jesus came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.'”
– Matthew 26:40–41

This conversation happens in these critical moments as Jesus is about to be betrayed and tried, and crucified.

Matthew 26:40–41 Reminds us of the Importance of keeping Watch in Prayer

These are His last moments with his disciples before He dies. He’s praying in the garden and Peter and the other disciples are falling asleep. Jesus says to Peter, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” What a picture specifically, obviously in this moment, but a picture in our lives of the need to be spiritually alert and spiritually prepared for otherwise we fall into temptation.

I think about my life today, your life today. We are moments away from wrecking our lives. If we are not spiritually alert, if we are not sensitive to temptation that is lurking around the corner, and if we are not walking diligently with Jesus in His spirit, according to His word, there is an adversary who today wants to wreck our lives. He wants to destroy our lives, our families, our relationships, our witness.

This is so important to realize there is a spiritual war raging around us in this world. Spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms who do not desire your good and they do not desire God’s glory.

Matthew 26:40–41 Reminds us of the Spiritual Battle Raging around Us

And they’re working to keep us from good and to keep God from being glorified, and to keep others from good. And so, watch and pray. “The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” So, live today, alert, praying continually, aware of the temptations that are lurking at any and every moment, and being diligent to seek God to abide in Jesus and to obey, live according to His word today.

God, help us. Our spirits are willing, but our flesh is weak. Help us to watch and pray that we may not enter into temptation today. God, I pray this over my life. I pray this over every single person that’s listening to this right now. We pray together. Please help us to walk an obedience to you today, to guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus, to think that we’re just pleasing to you, to desire that which is glorifying to you, to say that which honors you, to do that which obeys your word.

God, we pray that you would guard us, keep us, hold us fast in you all day long today. And help us not to enter into temptation today, to resist temptation, to flee sin and temptation in every way as you taught us to pray. Jesus, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Praying for the Baloch People

And God, we know as we pray for unreached people around the world, and we pray for entire groups of people, tribes, clans, nations that have yet to be reached by the gospel. We know there’s spiritual warfare and we pray for those who are working right now for the spread of the gospel on the front lines of unreached people. God, we pray that you would guard them, keep them. If we prayed in the previous podcast for the Baloch of Pakistan, God, we pray for friends I know, for people who are working right now for the spread of the gospel among the Baloch.

God, we pray for their strength. We pray for their boldness. We pray for their victory over temptation and sin. That they might walk in intimacy with you, that you might keep the adversary from gaining any foothold in them and in all who are working on the front lines of unreached people right now, so that the gospel might go forward through them, so they’re witness might not in any way be compromised by sin, by weak flesh. God, help us all to watch and pray today by your grace that we may not enter into temptation. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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