Theme: The importance of prayer. 
This weeks lessons teach us from Jesus’ example how to pray.
Matthew 26:40-41
And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”


That leads to the last lesson we need to draw from this passage, namely, the weakness of our flesh. Did Jesus need to pray? He obviously did, and he was the sinless Son of God. He was the Rock of Ages, an unshakable pillar of strength compared to those around him. But if he needed to pray, how much more do we who are weak and sinful and ignorant and usually oblivious to the temptations that surround us every day?
“The flesh is weak,” Jesus said. But not only weak. It is a pit of corruption and rebellion, too. The New International Version of the Bible has translated the Greek word sarx (flesh) as “body” in verse 41. But that greatly weakens the word in my opinion. In the New Testament “flesh” usually means “mere flesh,” that is, the whole person as he or she is apart from the regenerating and purifying Spirit of God. Flesh stands for man the sinner,and man the sinner is more than physically weak. He is corrupt, sinful, and rebellious in his soul.
What is the solution? It is staring us in the face. “Watch and pray,” said Jesus. Why? Because apart from prayer we will certainly “fall into temptation” (v. 41). The only way we can stand is in the power of Jesus who was himself able to stand and who intercedes for us to enable us to stand, even as we pray. 
Peter thought he was strong. When Jesus spoke of his impending death, indicating that the disciples would forsake him and be scattered, Peter protested that although that might be true for the others, it would not be true for him since he was willing not only to suffer but even to die for Jesus’ sake. Peter meant it. He loved the Lord. He thought he could stand by him. But Peter was weak in the flesh, and he was not able even to keep awake long enough to pray.
Peter also fell into temptation, and he would have fallen away utterly if Jesus had not prayed for him that his faith might be strengthened. Jesus said, “I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith might not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32).
John H. Gerstner suggested at one of the Philadelphia Conferences on Reformation Theology that it must have been Peter who composed the song that is found in some of today’s hymnbooks. It has the recurring chorus line: “Lord, we are able.” That is what Peter sang before his fall. But Gerstner suggested that after he had fallen and been restored by Jesus, he rewrote his self-confident hymn to read: “Lord, we are notable.” Peter was not able, and neither are we. In the flesh we will fall. But we can stand in Christ if we come to him and pray, seeking the strength he makes available. So pray. If you have trouble praying, as I am sure you do, remember that Jesus prayed and that he is praying for you right now.


According to Dr. Boice, what is meant by the flesh?
Based on what Jesus said in verse 41, what keeps us from falling into temptation?


In the flesh we will fall. But we can stand in Christ if we come to him and pray.

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