A Prayer for Strength When Facing Temptation(s)
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Cor. 10:13
The flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. Gal. 5:17
Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it. Gen 4:7
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Matt. 6:13
Dear Lord Jesus, as you know, this was one of the very first Scriptures I committed to memory, as a young believer, in the summer of ’68. It’s no less timely, necessary and encouraging today as it was then. The seizing power of temptation in my life is just as real today as it was over forty years ago.
It would be one thing if temptation came like junk mail—easy to recognize, ignore, and trash. But at times temptation comes with such alluring and promissory power, that “standing up under it” is an incredibly difficult thing to do. I would despair, and question the reality of my faith, if I didn’t have the assurance that temptation itself is not sin (James 1:13-15). Jesus, the very fact that you suffered the full fury of temptation also gives me hope and keeps me sane (Heb. 4:15).
What encourages me the most about in this Scripture is the “commonality” of every temptation and the promise of a “way out” of any temptation. This assures me that no matter how dark, foolish, or destructive are the things that enter my mind, such temptations are not unique to me. Anything I’ll ever be tempted to do, is common to other believers, just like me. I’m not terrible because I’m tempted, but I am tempted to do terrible things. Though this saddens me, it shouldn’t shock me; but it greatly gladdens me to know you will always provide a way of escape.
Jesus, help us resist the seducing power of temptation, where it rages the most powerfully in this season of life—in the very hour of this particular day. Whether our temptations are sexual, financial, relational, or alcohol or drug related, it makes no difference—show us the way of escape, and give us strength to choose that way. And when we falter and fail, grant us grace to flee to you for mercy and restoration. Oh, Jesus, was a wonderful and merciful Savior you are. So very Amen we pray, in your strong and grace-full name.