The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him.

And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come.”

The phrase that I have used in this post title is often used to explain moral failures and the capitulation to fleshly temptation. While that is probably an appropriate explanation of events like that, I think that it is interesting to note that Jesus uses it to describe a failure to persevere in prayer. Three times the Lord chided the disciples for their failure to pray. It makes me wonder why, after seeing their friend so troubled, they could not prevail with him.

The underlying foundation of prayer is the idea that God wants to help us and He is able to do so. Yet sometimes this deep truth is forgotten when we our flesh is tired and weary. In times of testing it is good to remember that a prayer can be a simple as Peter crying out to Jesus "Lord save me!" when he began to sink as he walked on the water. A good reminder to us that our Father cares and wants to hear the cries of our heart when we pray.

You are listening Lord. Help us to remember to pray throughout our day.

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