In our last post, we wrote about forgiveness. When we ask for forgiveness or grant forgiveness, we are dealing with actions that have already occurred.
The next part of the prayer, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” looks toward the future and asks God for guidance and deliverance.
The word “temptation” in this context literally means a test, not necessarily an attraction to do something wrong. We know that God does not tempt us. Nor does he allow us to be tested beyond what we can bear. In every difficult situation, he will always provide a way out.
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)
We know that Peter faced a difficult test. At the Last Supper, Jesus told Peter that Satan desired to sift him like wheat. He told Peter that he had prayed for him, that his faith would not fail.
Following the supper, Jesus and the disciples went to the Mount of Olives. He instructed the disciples to pray that they would not enter into temptation. He went on a bit further and prayed alone.
When he came back to the disciples after he had prayed, he found them sleeping instead of praying. It is easy to think critically of the disciples in that moment. Jesus was about to be taken away to be crucified and his closest friends fell asleep instead of praying as Jesus had instructed them to do. Would we have done any better? Probably not.
Regardless, the disciples could not stay awake to pray at this crucial time. It is interesting to me that Jesus did not ask them to pray for him. Instead, he instructed them to pray for themselves, that they would not fall into temptation.
We know that Peter denied Christ three times that fateful night—Peter, the disciple who walked on the water, and who had said to Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,”
I wonder—if Peter and the other disciples had prayed that fateful night on the Mount of Olives—would they have acted differently when the soldiers came to take Jesus away? We may never know the answer to that question, but we do know that Jesus specifically told them to pray that very night that they would not fall into temptation.
This sequence of events shows us the importance of prayer. It also underscores the importance of praying that we would not be led into temptation and that God would deliver us from evil.
9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
(King James Version)
About Michelle Landsverk
I am passionate about the Word of God and believe wholeheartedly in the authenticity of scripture. I also believe that the Bible isn’t written in a secret code; God designed it to be read, understood, and lived out by everyday people. I gave my heart to Jesus when I was a child and strive everyday to live a life in which I “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God.” Micah 6:8