Watch you and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
Two points specially claim our attention here.
I. THE COMMAND GIVEN — "Watch and pray."
1. Watch. The word is very simple. A physician watches a sick man. A porter watches a building. A sentinel watches on a city's wall.
(1) To watch implies not to be taken up with other things.
(2) To watch implies to expect the enemy's approach.
(3) Watching also includes an examination of the points of attack. The physician will observe what course the disease is taking, what organs it is likely to touch. Thus he watches.
(1) This seems to refer to a habit of prayer. Not a wild cry in danger or sorrow.
(2) Special prayer with reference to temptation is also implied. Prayer to be delivered from the presence of temptation, prayer for victory in temptation.
II. THE SUITABILITY OF THE COMMAND TO THOSE EXPOSED TO TEMPTATION.
1. The two parts together form the safeguard. Watching supplies materials for prayer. Prayer makes watching effectual. To pray only is presumption. To watch only is to depend on self.
2. The command also suits us because of the enemy's subtlety. We need to discover his wiles by watching. We pray for wisdom to discern his specious assaults.
3. And because of our own weakness. (Compare vers. 29, 31, with 67, 68).
4. It is also suitable in consequence of our Lord's appointment. The battle is His. He appoints its laws. And He has said, "Watch and pray." The command speaks thus to true disciples. What does it say to those who are careless and unbelieving?
(W. S. Bruce, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.