Forty Days of Prayer – Day 5

This first Sunday in the season of Lent always has the temptation of Jesus as the Gospel reading. I thought of this passage that deals with temptation for all of us.

“Watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the body is weak.” (Matthew 26: 41)

Jesus is speaking to his disciples because they keep falling asleep on Maundy Thursday and Jesus knows that He is about to be arrested. He asks them to pray with Him for a while. For years I did not have much sympathy for them in this situation. If I want to stay awake I could always do it without too much trouble.

A few years ago we tried to have an authentic Seder meal on Holy Thursday instead of our usual church service. We did this in the cafeteria. We roasted lamb, we prepared bitter herbs I worked on the readings from the Psalms and tried to do a few in the original Hebrew. Also as part of the Seder meal there are three toasts with glasses of wine. After an hour and a half meal with all of the food and wine, and at the end of a busy day, I was ready to go to bed. If I would have sat down in the quiet for a few minutes I am sure I would have fallen asleep also. For he first time I began to sympathize with the disciples for falling asleep that night. Jesus knew the spirit was willing but the body was weak. In Hebrews chapter four it says that Jesus is able to sympathize with us in our weaknesses. It also said He was tempted in every way just as we are, yet was without sin. Jesus knows everything we go through and calls us to follow Him, not because we have succeeded, but because He is merciful and sympathizes with us in our weakness.

In Christ’s service, Pastor Dave

Lord strengthen us. Our spirit’s are willing but so often our bodies are weak. Thank you for being able to sympathize with us. Help us to be able to sympathize with each other and encourage one another to walk and live in faith. Help us overcome temptation by the power of Your Spirit. Amen.

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