"Simon! Are you asleep?" Jesus asked Simon Peter. "Couldn't you stay awake and watch with me even one hour? Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you" (Mark 14:37-38 NLT).
The implication is that if Peter had forced himself to stay awake and pray, God would have strengthened Peter so he would not have denied Jesus. He knew Peter would succumb to temptation if he did not fortify himself with earnest prayer.
It is not only ourselves who need prayer to resist temptation. The Holy Spirit will often impress us to pray for others. We are never told how many temptations are not resisted simply because we were too tired or too sleepy to intercede.
"In the past few years," Mary Anne said, "I have sometimes awakened in the middle of the night. I sleep very soundly, so that is not normal for me. I would feel a burden to pray for one of my children." She recognized God was warning her that she needed to pray because someone was being tempted. She was grateful for the prompting and would immediately get up.
One night my husband and I prayed for Patty asking God to protect this new believer. She later told me what happened to her that same evening.
She had felt like skipping devotions, but found herself unable to do so. To her surprise, it was easy for her to pray. She arose from her knees encouraged.
It may be when someone's name comes to our minds, they are being tempted and prayer is needed at that strategic moment. Oswald Chambers said, "A praying saint performs far more havoc among the unseen forces of darkness than we have the slightest notion of."
Dear Jesus, help us to never miss Your promptings to pray because You know when someone is facing great temptation.
"Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil."