39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. 
The word that struck me in this passage today was the word “temptation.” In many ways this is what this passage is all about. Note that Jesus tells his disciples to pray that they will not fall into temptation, and then later when he finds them sleeping he tells them to get up and pray so as to not fall into temptation.
Now, Jesus did tell them to pray this way before. Remember this is one of the items included in the pattern of prayer that we call “The Lord’s Prayer.” In that case Jesus worded it as a prayer that God lead us away from temptation. Positively, it is a prayer for guidance, that God lead us not into temptation but instead in the ways of true discipleship. Certainly something we should be praying for daily, if not more often!
So anyway, back to the story: Jesus’ time on the Mount of Olives is bookended by requests that the disciples pray to not fall into temptation. Why is this on Jesus’ mind? Well, look at His own prayer. On the surface, He is praying a different part of the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy Will Be Done.” But why is this prayer so earnest and anguish and intense that his sweat became like blood? Quite simply because He was struggling with temptation.
Hebrews 2:18 and 4:15 assure us that Jesus was tempted and indeed tempted in every way we are. But He was also tempted in ways beyond what we can imagine. The temptation here was to avoid the cross, to turn away from laying down His life. And that temptation must have been intense, because we see Jesus here praying in battle, and shedding blood in the process.
Temptation is a real thing, the urge and inclination to go our own way instead of God’s way, to serve ourselves instead of others, to satisfy a sinful desire instead of a God-pleasing one. This passage emphasis just how serious temptation can be, and how intensely we may need to battle against it. And what is the weapon Jesus encourages? Prayer. Once again, keep in mind He worked this into the Lord’s prayer, our daily prayer template.
So my prayer today is simply meditating and ruminating and expanding on “Lead us not into temptation.” I pray that the Lord may go with me to strengthen me against every temptation that may confront me this day.
 The New International Version. 2011 (Lk 22:39–51). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.