RIGHT CHOICES ARE MUCH EASIER IF YOU PRAY THAT TEMPTATION WILL NOT OVERPOWER YOU.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read James 5:16-18.
Verse of the Day: “Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you” (Mark 14:38).
Ernest got off the school bus and headed toward the school entrance. Suddenly, he stopped walking. Standing between his bus and the school entrance were Rick and Jason, two of his friends. They stood in a tight circle with some other kids, all of whom were smoking.
“Oh, man!” he said.
He stood frozen to the sidewalk, wondering what to do. He had become a Christian a few months ago and hadn’t had a cigarette since then. He knew that his parents didn’t want him to smoke, but until he became a Christian he’d just disobeyed his parents. But now he knew that if he was going to obey God and honor his parents, he shouldn’t smoke.
He glanced quickly at the group; nobody had seen him yet. He knew if he went anywhere near that circle of kids, they’d try to get him to smoke. But if he kept standing where he was, they’d see him and wonder why he was just standing there. He suddenly veered off toward one corner of the school building, about fifteen yards away. There was no way to get into school on that side of the building, but it would give him time to think.
Ernest leaned his back against the brick wall. “God,” he said, his breath making puffs of steam in the cool morning air, “I really need your help. I don’t want to mess with cigarettes anymore, but if I go near Rick and Jason, I know they’re going to offer me a ‘smoke.’ I might take it just to-you know-fit in.”
He closed his eyes. “OK, God, I’m just gonna try to walk into school, right past Rick and Jason. Please help me not to give in if they offer me a cigarette…. Amen.”
Ernest swallowed and sighed. Then he stepped away from the school building and headed toward the main entrance, keeping his eyes glued to the sidewalk beneath his feet.
Finally, he knew he was getting close to the circle of his friends, and he lifted his gaze in their direction—but they weren’t there! He looked all around in amazement. Rick, Jason, and the others had disappeared.
They must have gone into school while I was praying, Ernest thought. He breathed a sigh of relief. “Thanks, God,” he whispered.
TO DISCUSS: Do you think God answered Ernest’s prayer? If so, how? Do you pray every day and ask God to help you make right choices? How can you develop a daily habit of praying in the morning and asking God to deliver you from temptation?
TO PRAY: “Lord, turn our hearts and minds toward you every day for help in resisting temptation.”