Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”
Just before Jesus’ destiny at the cross He withdraws to pray in Gethsemane. Christ asks His disciples to pray with Him, yet, they cannot stay awake. Jesus finds them sleeping and implores them to rise and pray to avoid temptation. Let’s look these two words for a moment.
“Rise”—The disciples needed to awake from their slumber. There were vulnerable to temptation and they didn’t even realize it.
God’s people in our day also must arise and awake from our spiritual stupor. We are being bombarded every day with deceptive messages that come against us in every area of life. Let us arise and be awake to the schemes of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
“Pray”—Christ’s followers are also commanded to pray in this verse. Praying keeps temptation away. It’s difficult to pray and commune with God and be drawn away in deceit at the same time. Pray, child of God.
I don’t mean to imply that Christians who pray never sin. That certainly is not the truth. I do mean to say that Christians who have healthy prayer lives are less apt to give in to sinful practices. The work of sanctification the Holy Spirit performs on heart of the Believer serves as protection from the schemes of the evil one.
If we desire to avoid temptation, then we must seek God. Our hearts will either be moving closer to God away from the Lord. Prayer does many things for Believers. And praying keeps the Christians heart and mind focused on God and not the things of the world. Let me end by saying it this way. To keep temptation away, rise and pray.