Summary: Peter failed because he ignored Jesus warning and slept when he should have been preparing (praying).
Luke 22:31-34: 31"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
33But he replied, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death."
34Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me."
Mark 14:32-42: 32They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." 33He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch."
35Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36"Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."
37Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Simon," he said to Peter, "are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."
39Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.
41Returning the third time, he said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"
42"Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!"
It was the Apostle Peter who tells us: Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
You may or may not know this, but in the United States, mountain lions are the animal regarded as the number one human predator. More people are attacked by mountain lions than any other wild animal.
Author and naturalist Craig Childs was on foot doing research on the mountain lions in Arizona's Blue Range Wilderness. As he approached a water hole from downwind, he spotted a mountain lion drinking water. The lion didn’t notice his presence. When it finished drinking, it walked slowly away into a cluster of junipers.
After a few minutes, Childs walked to the water hole to identify tracks in the mud and record notes. Just before he bent down to look closer, he scanned the perimeter, and there among the shadows of the junipers, 30 feet away, he saw a pair of eyes. He expected the lion to turn and run away, but it walked into the sunlight toward him. Childs pulled his knife and stared into the eyes of the lion. He knew what he had to do. More importantly, he knew what he couldn’t do. He writes:
Mountain lions are known to take down animals six, seven, and eight times their size. Their method: attack from behind, clamp onto the spine at the base of the prey's skull, snap the spine. The top few vertebrae are the target, housing respiratory and motor skills that cease instantly when the cord is cut….Mountain lions have stalked people for miles. One woman survived an attack and escaped by foot on a road. The lion shortcut the road several miles farther and killed her from behind….
I hold firm to my ground and do not even intimate that I will back off. If I run, it is certain. I will have a mountain lion all over me. If I give it my back, I will only briefly feel its weight on me against the ground. The canine teeth will open my vertebrae without breaking a single bone….
The mountain lion begins to move to my left, and I turn, keeping my face on it, my knife at my right side. It paces to my right, trying to get around on my other side, to get behind me. I turn right, staring at it….My stare is about the only defense I have.
Childs maintained that defense as the mountain lion continued to try to provoke him to run, turning left, then right, back and forth again and again, until he was just ten feet away. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity the standoff ended. The lion simply turned and walked away — defeated by a man who knew what never to do in its presence.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
When Peter wrote those words, I can’t help but think that his mind had to go back to the night in which Jesus was betrayed and arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane.