Why Peter Failed (Part 2)
Yesterday, we noted that one of the reasons why Peter failed is because he was boastful. He bragged that he would go to prison or even death with the Lord, and then He denied even knowing Jesus just hours later!

After partaking of the Passover and instituting the Lord's Supper, Jesus and the apostles went out to the Mount of Olives and eventually to the garden of Gethsemane. While in the garden, He took Peter, James, and John with Him and told them to "watch" (Matt. 26:38). Jesus was very sorrowful and deeply distressed at the time. He went a little further by Himself and fell on His face. He prayed to the Father - "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will" (26:39). Jesus didn't want to be crucified; He didn't want to suffer the physical and spiritual anguish involved in dying on a cross for the sins of the world. But, even in Jesus' distress, He prayed that the Father's will be done!

When Jesus returned to the disciples, He found them sleeping! They certainly weren't watching, as He had instructed. Jesus said to Peter - "What? Could you not watch with Me one hour?" (Matt. 26:40). He then stated - "Watch and pray lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." From that moment on, Peter watched and prayed as the Lord had instructed, right? No. When Jesus returned to prayer, Peter went back to sleep (26:43).

Peter failed partially because he didn't pray enough, if any, in this situation. Do you want to succeed in living a life dedicated to God? Then you need to pray as Jesus has instructed us to - "Father, do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one" (Matt. 6:13). Do your prayers include petitions to God to be delivered from Satan and his temptations? Do you pray for the strength to be able overcome and escape temptation (I Cor. 10:13)?

Friends, if we don't want to fail like Peter did, we would be wise to follow the instructions Jesus gave to Peter--watch and pray! Be alert and ready so that temptations will not take advantage of you or catch you off guard. Pray to the Father for strength to overcome. Prayer is not the mere uttering of words; it is an expression to God of the sincere desire of our hearts. If Peter had prayed as he should have, perhaps he would not have failed by denying Christ. Perhaps he would have been better able to escape that temptation. Just think of all the times that you and I could avoid sin, if we would watch and pray more dutifully. Our spirits want to do what is right, but our bodies are weak and easily succumb to sin if we do not seek the divine help that is available to us.