A couple of things that struck me this morning from Luke.
Jesus says to his disciples in 22:40 "Pray that you will not fall into temptation", and then a few verses later while praying on the Mount of Olives Jesus, 'prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground'. (22:44) His prayer was obviously quite intense and I thought how much of my prayer is so intense that my praying produces sweat? But the prayer he said to the disciples was 'pray that you will not fall into temptation'. And then again in verses 46"Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."
This call to pray that we don't fall into temptation I believe is so needed. It is when we pray that we realise the different areas that we have fallen into temptation in such seemingly little things, but over time they become big things. We succumb to temptation in so many ways and something that the Lord showed me in the next verses was the story of Judas who betrayed Jesus with a kiss for money. Judas was his friend, had received so much from Jesus and yet come the time, he was the one who betrayed Jesus. And shortly after as Jesus is put on the cross, Peter who once again had received so much from Jesus, followed him, and a few verses later ends up betraying Jesus and succumbing to temptation of fear of man.
How quickly we think we are doing alright and that we would never fall, and yet those who were closest to Jesus, fell to temptation, betrayed and disowned him, come the time of persecution and challenge. For myself as I prayed this morning, I realised that I too had fallen to some areas of temptation. Where I had been hurt by people closest to me and had put a wall to guard my heart again and yet as by Jesus example, he forgave those closest to him and he asked the Father to forgive them. It was very much like Judas how easily we can give someone a kiss as such, on the outside and yet our hearts are in a whole another place. But in the praying the Lord shows us those areas that need his touch, those areas that need healing that only He can do, so that our hearts line up with our actions.
Lord I pray that we would not fall into temptation and I pray that those areas in our lives where we have succumbed in whatever way, you would show us and restore us. For those people who perhaps have been hurt or betrayed by the people closest to them, Lord bring your healing, forgiveness and restoration. Thank you Jesus that you too suffered at the hands of your friends and those who you had poured your life out to and for, and yet you show us a way to forgive through your example. Thank you Lord for the joy set before us as we forgive.