I wrote these words in my book, Lord, Teach Us Pastors to Pray, but they apply to all believers who are ever tempted. That’s all of us.
His [Jesus’] words in the model prayer were clear: we are to pray to the Father, “And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt 6:13). Jesus later echoed similar words to His disciples as He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane: “Pray that you may not fall into temptation” (Luke 22:40). His disciples slept instead, however, and Jesus gave them the same command a second time (Luke 22:48).
We are often just as guilty as the disciples were. Jesus taught us to pray before temptation happens, and our prayer should be that God would protect us from the evil one. I hope we would pray at least during the temptation, but that seldom happens, either. Rather, our prayer is usually after the temptation—and it shouldn’t surprise us these prayers sound repetitively alike. When we don’t pray the way Jesus taught us— proactively—our reactive prayers will sound like, “God, please forgive me again.”
Chuck Lawless, Lord, Teach Us Pastors to Pray: Creating a Culture of Prayer in Yourself & Your Church (p. 21). Kindle Edition.