April 9 – Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.—MATT. xxvi. 41.
I want a sober mind,
A self-renouncing will,
That tramples down and casts behind
The baits of pleasing ill;
A spirit still prepared,
And armed with jealous care,
Forever standing on its guard,
And watching unto prayer.
When you say, “Lead us not into temptation,” you must in good earnest mean to avoid in your daily conduct those temptations which you have already suffered from. When you say, “Deliver us from evil,” you must mean to struggle against that evil in your hearts, which you are conscious of, and which you pray to be forgiven. To watch and pray are surely in our power, and by these means we are certain of getting strength. You feel your weakness; you fear to be overcome by temptation; then keep out of the way of it. This is watching. Avoid society which is likely to mislead you; flee from the very shadow of evil; you cannot be too careful; better be a little too strict than a little too easy,—it is the safer side. Abstain from reading books which are dangerous to you. Turn from bad thoughts when they arise.