Prayer and Temptation
After Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit led Him into the desert, where He was tempted by the Devil (read Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13). For forty days Jesus ate nothing. At the end of this time Jesus was very hungry. The Devil came to Jesus and said, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered Him, “It is written, one does not live by bread alone.”
Then the Devil took Jesus up a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world. The Devil said, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.” Jesus replied, “It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship and Him alone shall you serve.”
Then the Devil took Jesus to Jerusalem and made Him stand on the parapet of the temple, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you and with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Jesus replied, “Again it is written, you shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.” When the Devil finished tempting Jesus, He departed.
Jesus was able to resist the temptations of the Devil through prayer and fasting. Even though Jesus was very weak from hunger, His love for God was very strong. He responded to every temptation with words from Scripture. God promises that our prayers will always be heard and answered. In the Gospels, Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) Jesus showed us that prayers help us to resist temptations which lead to sinful thoughts, words or actions. Jesus also showed us that God’s word from the Bible gives us strength to remain faithful to God.
There are many different forms of prayer. Prayer is opening our hearts to God so that we may be filled with His love. We are familiar with some prayers like “The Our Father,” “The Hail Mary” and the “Glory Be.” Prayers can also be personal and spontaneous. Meditation is a kind of prayer in which we remain silent and try to listen to God in our minds and hearts. Contemplation is a kind of prayer that simply rests in God’s presence without using images, words, or thoughts. A good way to pray is by going to Eucharistic Adoration.
- Where did the Devil bring Jesus to show Him all the kingdoms of the world?
- True or False. Temptation may lead us to sinful thoughts, words or actions.
- In the desert, what did Jesus do to resist the temptations of the Devil?
- List down three different ways in which you can pray to God.
- True or False. Meditation and Contemplation are exactly the same kind of prayer.