Mark 14:38 – “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” NKJV
In this passage Jesus was in the Garden praying before His time of crucifixion was to take place. He had asked Peter and others to pray but they succumbed to the flesh and fatigue and fell asleep. Jesus chastised them for their inability or lack of resolve to join Him in prayer but truthfully I believe that it was God’s design to allow the tremendous message of the above verse to be driven home to them and all future generations. They could not have stopped the events of the Cross by any amount of intercession but they should have prayed because as this passage reveals it is through prayer that our spirits are strengthened to overcome the flesh.
Thus we have the directive of our Lord to “watch and pray”. If you think about the events surrounding Jesus’ arrest and trial you will remember that “everyone forsook” Him. Peter had declared that he would be the exception and even if faced with death would stand firm but he like a reed blown in the wind succumbed to the fear of death and the Jewish hierarchy.
I believe that Jesus words in this verse were more directed to those events than any thought that had they prayed they might have altered the events of the Cross. Jesus knew that the Cross was a must but he also knew that the carnality or flesh of His followers would render them sniveling cowards when the time came and He was trying to warn them that only in watching and praying would they gain the heavenly strength to stand. They would use this after that event and many of them died martyrs deaths ‘standing’ and even when faced with the weakness of their flesh their spirits soared into the heavens and drew strength for God Himself.
You and I sometimes fail to understand the power and importance of watching and praying. We fail to understand the need to so have our spirit’s strengthened that we can overcome the flesh and that when our spirits say YES our flesh obeys. Sadly, too often we hear the NO of the flesh and it overrules the YES of our spirits. It does not have to be that way and we can walk as overcomers but we cannot without watching and praying!
So today find time to watch and pray. Find time to allow the Holy Spirit to strengthen and embolden your spirit so that when the flesh protests the spirit is strong enough to overrule it and you YES becomes YES both in spirit and flesh.
May God be with you as you go through this day!