“Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you will not fall into temptation.’ ” (Luke 22:39–40, NIV84)
Two to three times Jesus warned the disciples to pray about not falling into temptation during this short period of time while praying on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sensed something the rest didn’t. The enemy was in their midst. The enemy who seeks to kill, steal, and destroy. Jesus knew the enemy was in the garden. He knew that Judas’ betrayal was moments away. He didn’t want His disciples to fall into the temptation of Satan’s twisted view of what was about to take place. Jesus knew that Satan is a liar. He always twists the truth. Jesus was in fervent prayer for Himself and His disciples that they would not get drug down a bad path once the arrest took place.
As I was typing those words, I couldn’t help but see the stark contrast even in my own life. Jesus sensed and knew that the enemy was present, and most of my existence is lived in a state of darkness and denial until that fatal moment when I bite the bait the enemy has placed in my path. We need to be more spiritually attuned to our reality. We need to be discerning about the enemy and his strategies. As I think about it, it doesn’t surprise me at all that Jesus dedicated the last three petitions of the Lord’s Prayer to sin, temptation, and the enemy: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil.” We need to be more aware so that we do not fall into the traps the enemy places before us.
Jesus’ words from the Mount of Olives were not spoken that one time and meant only for the disciples. Jesus wants us to discerningly pray every day about protection from the enemy. I suggest the Lord’s Prayer as a great prayer to use.