We all need physical exercise to keep the body fit. Some get physical exercise through their daily jobs. They walk for long distances or physically exhaust themselves in their job. But others who have white color jobs need to spend time exercising post their office time to keep themselves fit.
While physical exercise takes care of the need of the physical man, spiritual exercise is essential for the health of the spiritual man living within us. One of the powerful spiritual exercises is prayer. This month we are going to see how prayer can change our life. Exercise does not produce results on day one. It has to be repeated over many days to see the fruits of it. Similarly, prayer is a spiritual exercise. We need to repeat and apply it continuously over time to see the results.
How to overcome temptations through Prayer?
Jesus said, "Keep watch and pray so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!"
Temptation could be uncontrolled desires to do what we already know as wrong. It could be lust or addictions. Alternatively, God allows temptations in our lives. Peter, who is the disciple and a companion of Jesus was tempted by satan after seeking approval from Jesus.
Temptations ignite the underlying desires of our hearts to do wrong. In the case of Peter's example, he wanted to protect himself. We might have yielded to the same temptations many times in our lives after making a resolution not to do it. Jesus invites us to keep watch and pray so that we can escape from temptations.
Dear Friend, Wake up the spiritual man within us and start praying. Strengthen the spiritual man by applying the spiritual exercise of prayer. Jesus wants to help us. It's time we start fighting against the temptation in prayer.
Jesus taught us the following prayer.
"Don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one."
Let's use the same prayer Jesus taught us. Let's go to the presence of Jesus, and pray the way he taught us to pray. He will strengthen us and rescue us. We will come out of it not by our power but by the power of Jesus. We are going to pray in a few minutes.
The Bible says, "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
Now, we would like to remind you this is a spiritual exercise. We need to exercise prayer and apply it to our lives every day. Yesterday's prayer can not protect us from today's temptation.
How to Guard our Hearts and minds through Spiritual Exercise?
Many come to our website with depression and anxiety. Based on the emails we have received, sickness, failures, financial stress, relationship problems, addictions, and loneliness are some of the top reasons for depression. We all go through a tough time during our lifetimes. If we allow all the challenges of life to enter our minds then we would become mentally sick. The question is how to guard our minds and our hearts?
The Bible says, "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
The above verse from the Bible guarantees mental peace for every one of us independent of the tough situation we go through. We might say it's impossible to calm our minds when we go through challenging times. It is true, we can't. It is humanly impossible to calm our thoughts during a tough situation. The above verse is talking about the peace that comes from heaven. It comes from the presence of God and fills our minds. It seals stops the situation from entering our mind. How to get this mental peace?
Jesus wants us to pour our hearts in his presence. Jesus carried our burdens on the cross. The Bible says, "He (Jesus) has borne our griefs, And He has carried our sorrows and pains;" To receive the peace and guard our minds, we ought to learn to pour out our hearts in the presence of Jesus.
Shall we go to the presence of Jesus and ask Him to release our hearts from temptations? Let's ask Him to guard our minds against the challenging situation around us. Please place your hand on your heart and ask Jesus to come into you. He wants to speak to us and heal our lives. Let's pray. Please pray the below prayer with your own words.
Dear Jesus, I come to your presence to pour out my heart. You know the challenges in my life. You know the worries and my anxieties. I can not handle them. Jesus, I need help. Forgive me, if I am in this state because of my own wrong choices in life. Please wash me with your precious blood. Sometimes I make decisions without consulting you. My heart gets depressed and disappointed with the decisions I have made. Please help me, Jesus. I have no one to call out except you. Come into my heart and heal my mind. Fill me with your heavenly peace.
Jesus, Thank you for teaching me how to keep my life away from temptations. Please strengthen me. Rescue me. My flesh is weak and unyielding to pray. Give me the spiritual strength to overcome the temptations. Search my heart and show me my wrong desires and addictions. Help me to come out of them. It is impossible to come out of it with my own strength. You are my God. You can help me to overcome all my temptations.
Jesus, help me to apply this prayer as my spiritual exercise. Help me to pour out my heart every day. Let's me come to your glorious presence every day in my life. To receive healing, heavenly peace, and joy. Thank you so much for listening to my prayers. I believe you are going to change my life. I put all my trust in you. In Jesus's mighty name, Amen.