Daily Devotional: Psalms 41:7-13
7 All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worst for me, saying, 8 "A vile disease has beset him; he will never get up from the place where he lies." 9 Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. 10 But you, O LORD, have mercy on me; raise me up, that I may repay them. 11 I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. 12 In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever. 13 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.
38 Then he [Jesus] said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. 41 "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."
Earlier in the evening, Jesus had told Peter that he would deny him three times before the rooster crowed the next morning. Peter, along with all the other apostles, said they would die with Jesus before they would deny him. Jesus had warned Peter and now he tells him to pray to overcome the temptation.
Jesus was facing his most trying hour and he was praying, praying for hours. An angel came and ministered to him and he prevailed. What if Peter had prayed instead of sleeping? Would he have overcome? Would the story be one of joy instead of Peter’s denial of his Lord and his bitter weeping? Would the angel have come to Peter and given him the needed strength – as he did for Jesus?
You and I will face our temptations to deny Jesus as our Lord – if not in word, by our actions. Do we spend time in prayer, asking God to give us wisdom and his strength to overcome? Paul ended his prayer for the Ephesians with these words: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Lord God, Father and creator, I just come to you today asking you to give me the wisdom to know what is right and the strength to carry it out in my life. Keep me from all evil. Use me to do good. I acknowledge that I need your power to be able to overcome the evil one and to keep my eyes focused on you. Use me to help and encourage others as they serve you. I pray in the name of Jesus.