Beginning with the first man and woman walking on earth, the devil has been prowling around seeking to trip us up and get our eyes off of God. Tempting is different than testing. Testing is something God often does with the goal of teaching us more about ourselves and Him. The goal of testing is for us to succeed and draw nearer to Him. Tempting, on the other hand, has the goal of getting us to fail. The objective is to get our eyes off of God and on to ourselves, what pleases us, and how we can elevate ourselves. Tempting encourages us to create idols – false gods – that we worship over the One true God.
The devil is consistent in his toolbox of temptations, luring us to chase what looks good, feels good, and makes us feel more powerful when these things are actually opposed to God’s will and commandments. It is an ongoing battle we can pray for our kids to overcome with God’s help.
In this me-centered world, the culture around us encourages us to worship ourselves and to be led by our emotions and feelings. Self-help and self-care have become big buzzwords. It is easy for our kids to slip into a mindset of unproductivity in the name of self-care and self-glorification. But self-care looked very different to Jesus and the apostles. It looked like getting away to spend focused, quality, quiet time with God the Father. It looked like renewing their mind…to empty it of worldly things and fill it with God’s truth. It looked like stepping away from work and resting; getting re-centered with God and worshiping Him. It looked like guarding their hearts and loving each other well. We are wise to pray the same for our kids.
Idolatry is seeking security and meaning in someone or something other than God.
God, I pray as you taught us to pray that _______________________ not be led into temptation. Please deliver (him/her) from all evil. God, give (him/her) Your power and strength to resist temptation when it rears its ugly head. You promise to always provide a way out when (he/she) is tempted. Please help ___________________ to always find and walk into that way out that You provide.
Help ____________________ to consistently choose to do the right thing and the thing that pleases You. Give (him/her) a love for Your Word and Your law. Surround (him/her) with community and friendships that encourage each other in the battle with temptation, that hold each other accountable, and pursue righteousness together.
When (he/she) wanders from Your truth, bring (him/her) quickly back to you. Help (him/her) deeply desire to get back on track. Give (him/her) wisdom and discernment in all things.
Rather than succumbing to temptation, give __________________a desire for whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy in Your eyes.
God, I pray for favor for _________________________ as (he/she) steps into the gifts and opportunities you have given (him/her). Please help (him/her) not turn them into idols that (he/she) worships over You, the giver of all good gifts. Help (him/her) have a pure heart that seeks You above all. Protect (him/her) from creating idols of achievement, accomplishment, other opinions, possessions, wealth, relationships, status, and all other things the devil dangles in front of (him/her) as something to be worshipped and sought after over You. Help (him/her) to see that anything (he/she) values over You is an idol and if not put in its proper place will destroy (him/her).
Help ____________________ know when to say no to things. Help (him/her) recognize when good things are getting in the way of better things. Help (him/her) know that it is ok to slow down and not get caught up in the cultural rat race of excessive busyness.
Help ___________________ learn that just because (he/she) can do something, doesn’t mean (he/she) should. Help (him/her) to choose the great over the good when both are presented.
Help ________________ avoid destructive pursuits and addictions to provide the care for (his/her) soul, mind, and heart. Bring people into (his/her) life who will point (him/her) to You over “quick fixes” the world readily promotes. Keep (him/her) free from strongholds that threaten (his/her) wholeness and relationship with You.
Help ___________________ seek out healthy living, getting enough sleep, favoring food, drink, and nutrition that fuels (his/her) body, and exercising for mental and physical health.
God, please help ____________________ develop habits of Sabbath rest and healthy self-care. Help (him/her) to seek You for rest and restoration over the things the world readily offers. Help (him/her) always choose You.
Tips for Parents
As a family, instill the practice of Sabbath rest and healthy self-care. Your kids will take cues from you on its importance. Take time to put work and hectic activity aside and spend quality time with God and each other.
Teach your kids to value rest and renewal. Take time to reflect together on the week and the things that are getting the priority in the life of your kids. In the crazy that is life, it is so easy to get off track. Take this time to refocus and reorient your life back on God’s path.
Here’s an option for a Sabbath dinner conversation for reflection. Go around the table and let everyone respond. Provide encouragement and support to one another.
We can pray to God against temptation and evil.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Matthew 6:13
The devil wants us to question God’s goodness and commands.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1
Temptation is stirred in us when we desire things that aren’t of God.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. James 1:13-15
Pray to not enter into temptation
And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Luke 22:40
The devil looks for our weakness and weak moments to tempt us.
And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. Luke 4:13
God will provide a way out of temptation
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Flee from idolatry
Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 1 Corinthians 10:14
Idolatry is in the 10 Commandments
“You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:3-6
Jesus encourages His apostles to get away and rest after the work they had done.
The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. Mark 6:30-32
Just because something is permissible doesn’t mean it is helpful.
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12
Flee from sexual immorality. Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Glorify God in your body.
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
Renew your mind to discern God’s will and what is acceptable.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
Jesus took time to stop what He was doing to get alone with God and pray.
But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. Luke 5:15-16
Jesus takes time to be alone with His Father
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. Mark 1:35
Sabbath rest is for all of us who are people of God.
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Hebrews 4:9-10
Sabbath rest is for our benefit and restoration.
And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Mark 2:27