Watch and Pray – Gospel Reflection on Matthew 26:41


Today’s Gospel

Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.– Matthew 26:41


Before the Lord Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, He exhorted His disciples to watch and pray, but they fell asleep. Jesus Christ knew they were willing to do as He demanded but the flesh was weak. From the Lord Jesus’ words, we know that prayer is of the utmost importance for us. This verse shows us the way to solve the problem of weakness of the flesh.

In real life, we often feel the flesh is weak. For example: Sometimes, we don’t attend church gatherings because we feel it would take time away from work and making money; sometimes, we choose to watch TV shows rather than praying and reading the Bible. Though we know what we do will distance us further and further from God, we can’t help succumbing to the preferences of the flesh. … At this moment, if we are watchful, pray and rely on God, He will guide us to overcome the weakness of the flesh. Just as God’s words say, “The purpose of prayer is to have people come before God and accept that which He would give them. If you pray often, and come often before God to commune with Him, and have a normal relationship with Him, then you will always be moved inside by Him, and will always receive His provisions—and one who always receives God’s provisions is changed, and their conditions are ever improving. In particular, when brothers and sisters pray together, an especially great energy arises afterward, and they feel they have gained a great deal. In truth, they may not have fellowshiped much in their time together; it was prayer that roused them, such that they could not wait a second longer to renounce their families and the world, and they wanted nothing, and having God alone sufficed. What great faith! The power that the Holy Spirit’s work gives man can be enjoyed without end! How far can you go without relying on that power, but bracing yourself and stiffening your neck as you walk on, or depending on your own perseverance and willpower? Not far ahead is where you will fall and be degraded; as you walk, your strength will fail. People must maintain their contact with God unto the end! Yet man, as he walks on, strays far from God. God is God, man is man, and each follows their own path; God speaks the words of God, and man walks his own path, which is not the same as God’s. When a person loses strength in their belief in God, they come before God to pray a few words and borrow a bit of strength. After they have got some energy, they depart once more. In a while, they run out of fuel, and come back to God for more. When acting this way, a person cannot sustain it for a long time; if a person leaves God, they have no way forward.

Prayer is our spiritual need. We can only gain strength to satisfy God’s demands by praying to Him. God’s word will give us confidence and keep us from evil things. May God guide us to grow. Amen!