Watch Unto Prayer
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation : the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak
~ Matt 26:41
We must learn both to watch and pray. It is good to watch. There is danger everywhere. An army in an enemy’s country never rests a moment without its encircling line of pickets, keeping watch against danger at every point, and reporting instantly any hostile movement. We are living in the enemy’s country, and cannot safely pass an hour without watching. But watching is not enough; for we are not able to keep ourselves when the danger comes. Hence we need also to pray asking God to keep us. But as watching without praying is not enough, neither is praying without watching. God means us to use our eyes and to keep our wits about us, as well as to cry to Him for help
We must not say that every one who makes a good profession, and then fails, is insincere or a hypocrite. Peter was neither when he made his bold avowal that he would never deny Christ, and that he could die with Him. He loved Christ, and meant to be true to Him. Peter’s spirit was eager and earnest, but he was weak in himself; and because he relied only on himself, he was not able to hold out against the sore temptations which came upon him.
We are all just like Peter. If we are true Christians we mean to be faithful to our Lord. But sincerity is not enough. “The flesh is weak,” and we need to rest continually upon God for help to be true and faithful. If young Christians would learn this lesson they would not fall so easily. If the drunkard who resolves to reform learned it, he would be safer and stronger. No matter how good his intentions are, he is not able of himself to fulfil them. None of us are as good as we want to be and strive to be; and only through the mighty help of Christ can any of us live a true and noble life amid all the world’s temptations and dangers.