Praying through Pain

“Pray that you will not give in to temptation.” (Luke 22:40)

Jesus said these words to his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane as he got himself ready for his own betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion. 

This was a temptation to avoid pain, not a temptation to indulge in sinful pleasure.  The temptation they were about to face was a pain-temptation, not a pleasure-temptation.

Christians today are more alert to pleasure-temptation than we are to pain-temptation. One example of a pain-temptation is suicide. Suicide is an act that says, “I have enough of this pain, I cannot take any more of it, I will end it by ending my life.

Our complacency towards pain- temptation is so humanly typical that we see this in the disciples also.  Despite Jesus’ call for them to pray that they do not give in to the pain-temptation they were about to face, they fell asleep. The pleasure-temptation of sleep was too much for them.

Jesus called them a second time, “‘Why are you sleeping?’ he asked them. ‘Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.’” (Luke 22:46)

We tend to think that we should be delivered from all pain.  That was not the case with Jesus, and not the case with the disciples. Let us ask the Lord for strength not to give in to pain-temptations.

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