Lead Us, Deliver Us

7temptation-pachurch.ca

If you’ve been waiting to read what I’ll say about “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one,” so have I. It’s easy to get mired in the theology of the request, and I did. I referenced my notes from when I spoke on the Lord’s Prayer, but finally decided to simply talk about how I pray this for myself and others and leave the studying for your personal pursuit.

This may be the easiest and most passionate appeal we pray from the Lord’s Prayer—who doesn’t want to avoid temptation? It’s also a humble acknowledgement that, even when it’s the obvious choice, we need help to escape. In the previous verse we prayed for forgiveness. Now we pray that we won’t be in the position to again fall.

When Jesus told us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” He knew whereof He spoke. Two chapters earlier we’re told, “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil” (4:1, italics added). He knew the pain involved in resisting temptation.

“Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). Jesus knows, He helps, and sees the perfect purpose.

God tests us to build us up. Satan tempts us to tear us down. When the tests come, Satan will appear on the scene and tempt us to despair, bitterness, fear, anger, self-pity, unforgiveness.  Lord, “deliver us from the evil one.”

How better can we pray for the situation we’ve been bringing to God as we walk through the Lord’s Prayer? It is probable that the burden we carry stems from a yielding to temptation.

Father, please don’t lead my loved one into temptation, but deliver her (him) from the evil one. Open a way of escape. You are the Faithful One, ever-present to help in the time of trouble. Help this one who is dearer to you than she is to me and open her eyes to see your deliverance.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

 

Graphic from pachurch.ca

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