Consider the evening before the cross...
-Peter with his vehement declaration that even though everyone else would desert Jesus, he never would.
-Jesus telling Peter, "oh, but you will." (BHG translation). Also warning Peter that Satan desired to have Peter to sift like wheat. But, Jesus had prayed for Peter.
-The evening progresses and the scene changes to the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus leaves the majority of the disciples and asks them to watch with Him while He prays. He takes Peter, John and James further into the garden and instructs them to stay and watch.
-Jesus prays earnestly for an hour-to the point of sweating great drops of blood. He returns to the three and finds them sleeping. He says to Peter, (Matthew 26:40)
"What, could you not watch with me an hour? Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Jesus, as God, knew what He would be facing in the next hours. His answer was to pray.
Peter, as a fallible man, denied what Jesus told him he was going to do. He slept.
Would praying instead of sleeping have better prepared Peter for the temptations he was going to face?
If I really understood the nature of things, would I pray? Would I pray more? Would I pray earnestly?
Christians are in a war. Not against people-flesh and blood. Against principalities. Against powers. Against the rulers of the darkness of this world. Against spirit wickedness in high places.
That is the true nature of things.
We forget this. We don't pray enough. We don't pray earnestly. Often, we don't even pray. We are all but sleeping-spiritually and figuratively, if not physically (during our prayer times).
In our self confidence, we are sure we are doing just fine, thanks. We are successful. We are victorious. We have got this.
Our spirit is willing. Yet, we are still flesh and blood and flawed.
We need to pray.
Here is a list of 24 things from the Bible that we should pray:
deliverance (Psalm 116:4)
success and salvation (Psalm 118:25)
peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6)
those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44)
God's will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10)
God's kingdom to come (Matthew 6:10)
daily bread (Matthew 6:11)
forgiveness (Matthew 6:12)
to not be led into temptation, but to be delivered from evil (also translated the evil one) (Matthew 6:13)
laborers for God's harvest (Matthew 9:38)
intent of our heart be forgiven (Acts 8:22)
not do wrong, but be honest (2 Corinthians 13:7)
restoration (2 Corinthians 13:9)
to be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all wisdom & spiritual understanding (Colossians 1:9)
walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing (Colossians 1:10)
be fruitful in every good work (Colossians 1:10)
increase in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10)
strengthen with all might unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness (Colossians 1:11)
utterance and open mouths to boldly share the mystery of the gospel (Ephesians 6:18-19)
Word of God may have free course and be glorified (2 Thessalonians 3:1)
deliverance from wicked men (2 Thessalonians 3:2)
sharing of our faith would become effective (Philemon 1:6)
clear conscience in all things (Hebrews 13:18)
go well with us and be in good health (3 John 1:2)
The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man (woman) avails much. (James 5:16)
I don't know if any of you needed to read these words. I know I did. I'm too often like Peter-confident in myself. I need to be more like my Master and Savior, Jesus Christ-who stole off very regularly to pray all night. Who prayed before the most important event in the world. His death on the cross to pay the price of my sins.
Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation...Who do you need to be praying for?