Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to Pray Your way Through Temptation

As I work on my book about mother anger, one surprising discovery I have made is that anger itself is not the problem. In fact, anger often rears its ugly head due to irritation, annoyance, interruption (not situations that should elicit a true angry response).

The problem with mother anger has much more to do with the emotional release that comes from venting (also known as exploding). The release is cathartic - it gives a rush, a high. And we become seekers of that high. We become addicted to that sensation of the release from tension. And every annoying/irritating/interrupting situation tempts us into seeking that release.

As I begin to see my struggle for what it truly is - me being unable to resist sin and caving into temptation, the path to freedom becomes less cluttered.

In point-form, some steps to help you pray your way through temptation:

1. Pray about your issue constantly - even at times when you don't feel as though you're struggling. When you wake up, before moving from your bed, remind God (and yourself) that you are prone to being tempted (whether it be yelling at your children, smoking, using foul words, gossipping - just sharing a nasty laundry list with y'all, though God and I kicked the smoking one many, many years ago), and ask Him to help you. Keep on reminding Him all day. It's not that He needs reminding, but we need to remember that He is the only help for our struggles.

pray continually ~1 Thessalonians 5:17

2. Pray the Word of God the very moment you find yourself staring temptation in the face. It helps to write out Scriptures that speak to your struggle on index cards, so you have God's specific Words handy. Try using a concordance and writing out verses on: temptation, sin, perseverance, faith, holiness, trials, struggle, submission, and so on. If you believe the Bible addresses your issue specifically (such as immorality or anger), look for verses on those topics as well.

In Matthew 4, Jesus spent 40 days in the desert and the devil tried to tempt Him into sinning against His Father. Jesus' reply to each suggestion of the devil was,

It is written...

3. Seek trusted people to pray for you. We are not in the battle against evil on our own - we have brothers and sisters who can stand beside us.

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. ~James 5:16
4. Remember that at each juncture, you have a choice. You can choose to submit yourself to temptation (and thus to sin), or you can submit yourself to Christ.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. ~James 4:7
...God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. ~1 Corinthians 10:13

This post has been submitted to both Walk with Him Wednesday and Works for Me Wednesday.


  1. Excellent! I am going to bookmark this and refer to it often on this journey to fight off temptation.

  2. Wow, there is so much wisdom in just this one post. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Good advice. I'm currently reading a book on anger (The Heart of Anger) so this was a timely post for me to read this morning.
    Blessings on your day,

  4. Thank you for sharing this with us all. I having been struggling with anger emotions this week. It is something that I have struggled with over the years.

  5. Wise words! Thank you for sharing them.

  6. Yes, we always have a choice,

    my mother would always tell me...

    a choice to disobey, and reap the consequences of sin,


    a choice to obey, and reap the beauty called blessing, lavished upon us from our Savior.

    Lovely post!


  7. Thank you. Your post encouraged me with my own struggles with anger with my children.

    God bless you,

  8. Awesome word for the day! Well, for the next week actually. There's soooo much heart-smart here! Lol...

  9. Great idea! I need to use your idea about writing specific scripture on index cards to remind myself.

  10. Just came back to invite you to join my blog (heavenly humor). In a few weeks I'm hosting a contest for my followers..should be fun!

  11. Thanks for this, especially 2. and 3.


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