Fighting Temptations

There is mighty working power in prayer. Prayer avails much; prayer can do great things in us and for us, prayer can give us victory. The message version of James 5:16 says ‘The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.’ Prayer is something worth taking seriously because of how powerful, how important it is in helping us overcome in this life.

Anyone who wants to overcome in this life can’t afford to ignore or neglect prayer. This is why Colossians 4:2 tells us to devote ourselves to prayer; to pray regularly, to pray persistently, to pray earnestly, so we can tap into the supernatural power of God that flows as we pray.

Prayer Helps Us Overcome Temptation

Not everyone will battle with a life-threatening diseases, be a victim of rape or sexual abuse, be jobless or get sacked at work, or lose a pregnancy, but every person that passes through this earth will be tempted by the devil to sin. It doesn’t matter how anointed you are, the level you have reached on the social ladder, temptations will come your way. The devil will try everything possible to make us sin against God; go against God’s will for our lives, and stray away from the path God wants us to walk on. The devil’s mission is to get us to do things that displease God, so that we don’t enjoy the blessed life God has prepared for us.

Satan tempted Jesus. Satan didn’t say let me not go near this One, this is the Holy One of God, this is God’s own Son that came down from heaven. In any way and every way a person can be tempted, the devil tempted Jesus. Hebrews 4:15 says ‘For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but was tempted in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.’ The devil tempted Jesus with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life (1 John 2:16, Matthew 4:11), but Jesus didn’t fall for any of his temptations.

If the devil had the audacity to tempt Jesus Christ, He will surely come knocking on our doors with temptations.

How Did Jesus Overcome the Devil’s Temptations?

By living a life of prayer; by being totally and completely devoted to prayer. When the devil came to tempt Jesus, Jesus had been praying and fasting for 40 days. In Matthew 26:41, Jesus told His disciples and by extension you and I, ‘Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptations. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’

There is a battle between the spirit and the flesh and it is by living a life of prayer that we can win this battle. Through prayer we weaken the control and influence of the flesh on our thoughts, words and actions. As Jesus prayed and fasted, the flesh was brought under. The desires, longings and cravings of the flesh were weakened while the Spirit was brought alive, put in charge, put in control. This was why Jesus didn’t yield or fall for the devil’s temptations.

Temptations Are Not a One-Off Thing

It wasn’t once that the devil tempted Jesus. Luke 4:13 says ‘Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.’ If the devil tempts you today and you don’t fall, he will look for another day and way to get you to fall. This is why we must always be on our guard knowing that the devil goes to and fro on the earth, walking back and forth on it, walking about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (Job 1: 7, 1 Peter 5:8).

Prayer keeps us on our toes, prayer helps us to be on guard. Prayer strengthens and empowers us to resist and overcome temptation. The devil is very determined and persistent when it comes to temptation. We too must be resolute and persistent when it comes to prayer.

When Jesus was teaching His disciples how to pray, one of the prayer focus He gave them was to pray against temptations, to pray ‘Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one’ (Matthew 6:13). The same way we put in so much energy and passion into praying for a life partner, financial breakthrough, promotion, healing etc. that is the same way we should put in a lot of fervor and enthusiasm to pray that we will stand for God and not fall for temptation.

There’s Always an Escape Route When we Are Tempted 

1 Corinthians 10:13 saysNo temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man, but God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.’  There is a way out of temptation, prayer opens our eyes to see escape routes out of temptation. Joseph saw that his way of escape out of sexual temptation, was to physically run out of the room and away from Potiphar’s wife. For some other temptation, the escape route may be to cut off completely from a relationship, stay clear of certain places and people, don’t get involved in certain discussions. In some cases it can be as drastic as resign your employment with that organization.

May the Lord empower and renew our prayer lives so that we daily receive strength to overcome temptations, escape temptation traps and not fall for Satan’s bait.



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