Matthew 26:41 - Victory over Temptation and Sin
Mat 26:41 (KJV) Watch and pray, that ye enter not into
temptation]: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Mat 26:41 (NNAS) "Keep watching and praying that you may not
enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Mat 26:41 (NCV) Stay awake and pray for strength against
temptation. The spirit wants to do what is right, but the body is weak."
Mat 26:41 (EAV) All of you must keep awake (give strict
attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not
come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is
Mat 26:41 (Gibbs) Watch and pray so temptation doesn't capture
you for the spirit is willing to do right, but the flesh is
spiritually weak and not able to do right unless submitted to the Spirit.
The spirit. That is, the higher powers of the mind.
The flesh. That is, natural tendencies and desires as stimulated
by the senses.... the lower nature of man, as represented by the
various appetites or cravings. [SDA Commentary]
Watch-- that ye be not taken unawares; and pray-- that when it
comes ye may be enabled to bear it. (Adam Clarke Commentary)
Temptation makes prayer necessary. [camp meeting]
When we find ourselves entering into temptation, we have need to
watch and pray. (Matthew Henry's Commentary)
All are tempted, but we should be much afraid of entering into
temptation. To be secured from this, we should watch and pray, and
continually look unto the Lord to hold us up that we may be safe. [Matthew
Prayer is one of the most important strategies believers can use
to avoid temptation (v. 41). Only by God's help can we resist.
[Word In Life SB]
Failure to pray makes us an easy mark when assaulted by
temptation. [Quest SB mod]
Willingness of spirit was not enough; they needed moral
strength, strength of spirit. Such strength comes from prayer. [Disciple
The way to overcome temptation is to keep watch and pray.
Watching means being aware of the possibilities of temptation, sensitive
to the subtleties, and spiritually equipped to fight it. Because
temptation strikes where we are most vulnerable, we can't resist it alone.
Prayer is essential because God's strength can shore up our defenses
and defeat Satan's power. [Life Application SB]
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he
will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to
you."[1 JAMES 4:7, 8.] We cannot save ourselves from the tempter's
power; he has conquered humanity, and when we try to stand in our own
strength, we shall become a prey to his devices; but "the name of the Lord
is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe."[2
PROV. 18:10.] Satan trembles and flees before the weakest soul who
finds refuge in that mighty name. DA131
The life of a true Christian is a life of constant prayer.... It
is only through the strength and grace gained from heaven that we
can hope to meet the temptations and perform the duties before us.
The reason why so many are left to themselves in places of
temptation is that they do not set the Lord always before them. When we
permit our communion with God to be broken, our defense is departed
from us. Not all your good purposes and good intentions will enable
you to withstand evil. You must be men and women of prayer. Your
petitions must not be faint, occasional, and fitful, but earnest,
persevering, and constant. It is not always necessary to bow upon your knees
in order to pray. Cultivate the habit of talking with the Saviour
when you are alone, when you are walking, and when you are busy with
your daily labor. Let the heart be continually uplifted in silent
petition for help, for light, for strength, for knowledge. Let every
breath be a prayer. MH510-511
We may close every door to impure imaginings and unholy thoughts
by lifting the soul into the presence of God through sincere
I remember that when I was a boy, my uncle, who was living with
us, went out into the field beside our house and found some egg
cases. He put them on his windowsill.
He said he didn't know what kind they were but maybe we would
soon find out. One day he arrived home from work and entered his
room. Soon he called me. I went running to his room and saw little
green creatures all over his window screen, window, desk, bed-well,
all over the room-hundreds of them.
"What are they?" I asked.
He replied, "These are baby praying mantises."
"What is that?" I asked.
"The praying mantis is an insect about four inches long. It has
funny stilted legs for walking and two spiny jointed front legs that
are used to catch other insects for food. They have a
triangular-shaped head with large eyes," he said.
"Why are they called praying mantises?" I asked. My uncle told
me that these mantids raise the front feet up in a posture of
praying. The mantis will sit up and be quiet for long periods of time. It
is not praying but waiting for food. Mantises are so still that
when an insect passes by they reach out quickly with their two front
legs and capture it, then eat it. Although the praying mantis is an
enemy and only fooling the other insects, it is friendly to gardeners,
because it eats many pest insects. These insects are caught off guard
and lose their lives because they did not recognize the enemy.
In our spiritual life we have an enemy whose name is Satan. As
our text for today says, we need to be on guard that he will not
attack us without our knowing it. We need to watch for his false ways.
He will bring many things into our lives to trick us into his arms
of sin. We need to stay close to the Lord so that we can identify
Satan when we see him.
Ask the Lord today, as you pray, to help you recognize Satan and
his ways so you will not be caught as his prey. God will help you
identify him if you will only ask Him. [Talking Trees & Singing Whales by
Charles C. Case]
You have not taken the time to "watch and pray." Your alertness
has been sacrificed, and I firmly believe there will be irreparable
damage. You have failed to pray, and you will suffer as a result.
Temptations are waiting to confront you, and you are not prepared to
withstand them.... moments of prayer that are missed can never be
redeemed.... we will miss the rich freshness and strength that would have
been imparted during those moments. Frederick William Robertson -a
life without prayer is a powerless life. Selected [Streams In The
Desert By Cowman]
Exhort _____ to watch and pray and thus build a defense against
temptation. [Pocket Prayers by Robert Savage]
Prayer voices our human desires but seeks God's perfect will and
guidance above all. [Disciple SB]
At this moment all that Jesus knew was that he must go on, and
ahead there lay a cross. In all reverence we may say that here we see
Jesus learning the lesson that everyone must some day learn--how to
accept what he could not understand. All he knew was that the will of
God imperiously summoned him on. Things happen to every one of us
in this world that we cannot understand; it is then that faith is
tried to its utmost limits; and at such a time it is sweetness to the
soul that in Gethsemane Jesus went through that too. Tertullian (De
Bapt. 20) tells us of a saying of Jesus, which is not in any of the
gospels: "No one who has not been tempted can enter the Kingdom of
Heaven." That is, every man has his private Gethsemane, and every man
has to learn to say, "Thy will be done." [Barclay Commentary]
Peter, a fisherman, tries to be a soldier and win spiritual
victories with a carnal weapon! We need to remind ourselves that Christ
does not need to be defended. We fight Satan, not flesh and blood
(Eph. 6:10-18); the weapons we use are spiritual, not fleshly (2 Cor.
10:3-5; Heb. 4:12). Moses made this same mistake (Acts 7:22-28), and had
to spend forty years learning to let God fight his battles.
[Wiersbe Expository Outlines]
In prayer a man kneels before God that he may stand erect before
men. In prayer a man enters heaven that he may face the battles of
earth. [Barclay Commentary]