"...pray that you may not enter into temptation." Luke 22:46
Principle: Prayer provides the "night vision" that believers need to see God's light in spite of the dark circumstances around them.
Prayer is the intimate communication between the Heavenly Father and His child. Temptation is the enemy's use of darkness and shadow. Satan's scheme is to obscure the consequences of choices made without the benefit of light. God's plan is for His children to pray in order for Him shed His light on the work of the enemy, and to show them around the traps set out to hurt them.
Prayer enabled Jesus to see what God was doing in the dark, when others were blinded by the night. The death of Jesus was going to look like total defeat to those who loved Him. It would look like total victory for the enemy. In fact it was an absolute victory over the enemy.
The death of Jesus appeared, at first glance, to be a great triumph for Satan. In reality it spelled utter defeat for him. He called on His disciples to pray so they would not be intimidated by immediate circumstances, and be tempted to doubt God was at work in their lives.
Prayer provides insight from God in the middle of the darkest circumstances. Night vision goggles give members of elite military forces the capacity to see all around them what the enemy cannot see in front of them. Prayer enables the believer to see the trap, ambush, pit, or lure set by the enemy for what it really is, and for what it has the capacity to do to them.
Disappointed plans and delayed answers may cause doubt and fear to rise up in the heart of the most courageous prayer warrior. God's detour or His delay does not mean God's denial of a request from His children, or His desertion from the battle that surrounds them.
Prayerless people are in the dark on what is really happening to them or going on around them. Rather than getting with God in prayer, they continue walking and talking as if there are no consequences to stumbling into what the enemy has set out to trip them up. After bumping into something scary or intimidating, they often repeat the phrase, "I never saw it coming!"
It does not take a great deal of wisdom to see a path around an obstacle in the light of day. The danger comes when the darkness of the soul overshadows a believer's faith in the guiding light of God's goodness.
The word circumspection comes from two Latin words, circum and spectus. The first is easily recognized by its kinship to the English word circle. A circle surrounds something or someone with a never ending ring or a continuous, cyclical delineation. Spectus is similar to the English word spectacle, and means "to look." Combine the two words, and the resulting picture describes the capacity of a person to look all around something. Circumspection refers to the capacity of a person to be watchful. A person who is heedful of what is going on around them knows how to avoid embarrassment or distress. They circle (circum) around something with their feet when they see (spection) potential danger with their eyes.
Prayer warriors are not surprised by the dark. They know it has a way of coming around on a regular basis. When they find themselves in need of insight, foresight, and hindsight in the middle of the night, they pray. They ask God to give them the capacity to look around and see what He is doing, and avoid the temptation that surrounds them.
Prayer enables God's children to walk around the things that cause them to stumble. In their relationship with God, the way they come on is the way they go on. They entered into the family of God through the door of prayer, and they walk in His Kingdom with the light of prayer.
Unless people turn to God in prayer, they may miss what He is doing around them, but more importantly, the will miss God. God may be doing His greatest work in them, when it looks like the worst is happening around them. When Jesus called His disciples to prayer, He was heading towards the cross. Jesus went to God in prayer to get Him through the night, and prepare Himself for the day that was ahead of Him. The disciples went to sleep, and when the circumstances of the crucifixion came crashing in on them, they fell into the trap of temptation that had been set up by the enemy. It looked to them like all hell was breaking loose, but God was up to something wonderful.
Walking around in the dark, and falling into temptation is a dangerous choice. The disciples were urged by Jesus to wake up and pray. When people pray, they receive they receive the capacity to see in the dark. The night vision goggles of prayer reveal what God is really doing around them.
God desires for His children to have intimate communication with Him. More than He desires their service for Him, He longs to have conversation with them. Prayer enables the child of God to give themselves to Him, and receive guidance from Him around the dangerous temptations the enemy has set out to hurt them.
Through prayer, God guides His children around their circumstances rather than change the circumstances around them. Crying children often call out to their Father to urge Him to change the things that caused them to come to Him in the first place. God takes what scares His children the most, and through prayer He prepares them to face their fear with a sense of His Presence.
The Practice of Prayer: What keeps you awake at night, or strikes fear in you in the light of day? Put on your night vision goggles and pray for God to give you a sense of His Presence. He is able to guide you around the enemies temptation to believe God does not care for you, and He is not there for you.
Thought for the Day: Don't doubt in the dark what you know to be true in the light.
"One way we can tell the difference between the voice of God and a counterfeit is the sense of peace. The voice, which speaks peace, is of God; the voice that speaks urgency is either of Satan or comes from your own human nature. God leads, Satan pushes." Robert Mumford
"...pray that you may not enter into temptation." Luke 22:46