Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
In our last section of the five requests in the Lord’s Prayer, we ask God to send us into the world with His protection. This request does not mention heaven, but it is all about the heavenlies!
It is vital that we daily take into account what we can and cannot see. It is what we cannot see that has the greatest power to affect the outcome of each day. Sometimes we think our enemy is our boss, our spouse, our children—those with whom we have a conflict. They are not our enemy.
As this prayer attests, we are up against something powerful each day. It is called evil. We are tempted to follow the path of evil. The Pharisees demonstrate to us that sometimes the greatest evil looks like religious service.
God’s remedy to evil is Himself. Notice Jesus doesn’t teach us to pray for more moral goodness. He doesn’t ask us to pray that we become righteous on our own. He doesn’t say to pray that our checkbook reflects how we are such good Christians. Rather, He teaches us to pray that God shows us the way out of temptation and away from evil.
Evil is more evil that our eyes can see. It is more evil than our spiritual eyes can perceive. Most of us try to stay away from evil. Don’t Smoke, Drink, Dance, and Chew or Date Girls Who Do is perhaps in the back of your mind when you think of evil.
It is far more encompassing than that! Temptation to evil is temptation to doubt God’s goodness and it confronts us in every waking moment—and probably as we sleep! In this prayer Jesus encourages us to daily face up to the reality of our powerlessness to follow God. Without taking daily inventory we will naturally follow the path of evil. Most of us won’t even become aware of how evil we are; we become so comfortable with the evilness to which we adapt.
This is why the daily prayer (some recommend to pray the Lord’s prayer five times a day) helps us ask for what we really need.
We are not fighting an enemy that we can see (Ephesians 6:12—For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.)
It is mandatory to get this reality clear in your prayers and walk with God. We enter each day into a reality we can see and one we cannot see, measure, or comprehend (the heavenlies). It doesn’t matter, it permeates our lives. This prayer reminds us of this fact, and it also shows the way to negotiate through this tricky journey.
We simply ask God to do it for us. We ask for His guidance (after all He is the one who can see what we see and beyond). He shows us how to avoid the evil mines that are all around us.
Pray this prayer as often as you can with true meaning and it will do what Jesus gave it to us to do. It will draw your heart to your wonderful loving Father and the hope of heaven. It will open you to want His good and pleasing and perfect will and to see that His Kingdom is for now and later. It will help you connect to the beautiful gifts He gives you each day and show you how to be like Him and not be overcome by those who offend you through forgiving them. Lastly, He will show you how to come through your day unscorched by evil and temptation.
Part 1| Part 2| Part 3| Part 4| Part 5