March 24, 2023

Day 2 : The Temptation of Jesus | 12-Day Guided Prayer

Welcome to Day 2 of Guided Prayer

Note: This prayer meditation is first and foremost designed to be listened to, so we encourage you to listen to the audio as you read along.

TRANSCRIPT:

Hey Church on the Move family,

Welcome to our 12-day guided prayer podcast.

Today is day 2.

Take a moment to prepare yourself to pray over the next few minutes by putting away distractions, setting aside mental to-do lists, and finding a place where for the next 10 minutes or so you can give yourself entirely to the task of prayer.

See yourself placing any worries or situations outside of your control at the feet of Jesus.

Let’s begin by praying a simple prayer. If you find your mind wandering or it’s difficult to focus simply return to prayer by repeating this phrase. Take a deep breath, rest your thoughts on God and pray:

Jesus, I am Yours and You are mine. 

Our prayers over the next several days will be based on reflections from the life and teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew.

Today we are going to take a closer look at the temptation of Jesus following His baptism.

Found in Matthew 4:1-11,

1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

At the baptism of Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to rest on Jesus like a dove and the Father blesses Him from heaven saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” And then He is led into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil?

What’s that all about?

Jesus in the wilderness for forty days and nights would have reminded any Israelite of their people’s 40 year trek in the wilderness after coming out of slavery in Egypt and passing through the Red Sea.

Over that 40 years the Israelites failed to trust God time and time again, but during His 40 days in the wilderness Jesus trusted, yielded, and obeyed. And His trust and obedience to the Father is counted as righteousness for us.

Where we’ve failed time and time again to trust God, Jesus succeeded.

Take just a moment to pause and thank Jesus for the life He lived on your behalf.

In Matthew 4, the enemy’s tactics were uniquely targeted towards Jesus’ identity and calling, saying twice “If you are the Son of God”. This is the very thing that had just been affirmed in His baptism.

These interactions were intended to get Jesus to cross a boundary line of trust with the Father and take matters into His own hands, just like the snake in the garden in Genesis 3.

It should be no surprise to us when the enemy uses the same tactics on us, trying to get us to take for ourselves the things that God wants to give us in His timing and according to His will. But here we Jesus see surrendered to the Father, only doing the things He sees His Father doing and combatting the deceptive ideas of the enemy with the truth of Scripture.

Take a few moments to ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind any areas you’ve been tempted to cross the boundary line of trust and take matters into your own hands concerning the identity and calling you’ve received from Him.

If anything comes to mind, share it with God. Ask Him to forgive you and receive the grace that is available to you here and now.

In the wilderness Jesus combatted the deceptive ideas of the enemy with Scripture.

So right now, in our own words, let’s ask that the Spirit would give us a fresh hunger for Scripture so that when temptation comes we are able to fight lies with truth.

To end our time today, let’s pray together.

Father, thank you for the example you’ve given us in Jesus of a life fully surrendered to You. We’ve tried to live life on our own terms so many times, refusing to trust You. It never leads to the joy or satisfaction our hearts long for. But You faithfully draw us back time and time again, showing us a better way. We pray today that our love for Scripture would increase, that our imaginations would be shaped by Your truth, and that our hearts would be receptive to the voice of Your Spirit.

Amen.

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