Ephesians 6:18: Praying and temptation
- Christ’s praying in Gethsemane
- Christ’s teaching in Gethsemane
The greatest spiritual warrior to have walked the earth is Christ. He never gave in to one temptation; He faced greater temptations than anyone will ever face, and He is our teacher as we turn from the spiritual armour to the importance of prayer in spiritual warfare. As we read through the gospels we come across a life saturated in prayer. He would get up early and pray, Mk. 1:35; He would pray in private, Lk. 9:18; He prayed at His baptism, Lk. 3:21-22; and before He ate, Matt. 14:19. He prayed all night when facing important decisions like choosing His disciples, Lk. 6:12; He would withdraw in the middle of busy times when people were crowding to see and hear Him, Lk. 5:15-16; and after a very hard day’s work would follow up the day with prayer, Mk. 6:46; He prayed for Peter who was about to go through testing Lk. 22:32; in Gethsemane three times before He faced the cross, Matt. 26:36, and while He was dying, Lk. 23:34, 46.
Ephesians 6:18-20, ‘praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.’ Many have thought that prayer is the last piece of the armour, but it has been pointed out that Paul does not call us to put it on. Rather it is to be viewed as something that should attend every other part. That we prayerfully wear the belt of truth, the breastplate, take up the shield, etc. It is as if Paul is saying that without prayer all the armour is in fact useless. There is much that we need to draw from this text with regards to prayer. We need to discuss the nature of prayer, the types of prayer, persevering prayer, praying for the word, but today, as we are celebrating the Lord’s Supper we want to observe Christ who used prayer to overcome temptation in the garden of Gethsemane. We have observed Christ doing warfare with the word, now we will see Him doing warfare with prayer. We move to observe Christ at the time when He would have to face the hardest decision of His life, to willingly embrace God’s holy wrath for our sakes. We will see how the Saviour who being fully human turned to God in prayer to help Him wrestle Himself into obedience. We will look at His praying and teaching on prayer in Gethsemane.
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