PRAYER IS DEPENDENCE
As we get to the last line of the Lord’s Prayer in Luke we’ll look at the corresponding text in Matthew 6:13 to get a better picture:
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
At first glance, these final two petitions that bring The Lord’s Prayer to a close can seem counterintuitive. Why would we need to ask God to not lead us into temptation? Why would he ever lead us into temptation in the first place?
This passage becomes more clear when we look at the two petitions in verse 13 together. The negative “lead us not” reinforces the positive “deliver us.” This verse can be summarized in this way: “Lead us, not into temptation, but away from it, into righteousness, into situations where, far from being tempted, we will be protected and therefore kept righteous. As the second clause of this petition expresses it, we will then be delivered from the evil one.” - D.A. Carson, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount
The point of this petition is to acknowledge our dependence upon God, not just for the provision of physical needs, but for our spiritual well-being as well. The Bible makes it very clear that there is a war for souls continuously being fought. A war between good and evil. Peter exhorts us in 1 Peter 5:8 to be ready and watchful, because, “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
We cannot underestimate the desire of the enemy (i.e. “the evil one”) to steer us away from obedience to God and into sin. Peter warns us of this reality because he personally experienced it. In Luke 22:31, Jesus warns Peter that the devil desires him and wants to destroy him. This was in reference to Peter’s faith and whether or not he would be able to withstand temptation. As we see from reading the rest of Peter’s story in Luke, Peter did fail. He denied Jesus because of his fear. But, he later repented and turned back, and his faith was strengthened. His exhortation for us to be ready and watchful is a heartfelt warning from a man who knows how hard it can be to withstand temptation.
These two petitions should raise awareness of the battle we are in. Temptation is real and it is all around us. But, we do not and cannot face it alone. We see in other places in Scripture that we will face temptations until we are rescued ultimately from this world of sin and the sinfulness of our hearts (1 Corinthians 10:13; James 1:13—15). But, as Jesus exhorts us to pray here in Matthew 6:13, we are not in bondage to evil. Our struggle with sin is not a fight we are destined to lose. As our Father, God is involved in our struggle. He is with us in our struggle. And, he tells us to pray for deliverance.
Don’t resign yourself to the lie that you will never see victories over sin in your life. No, you will never reach a state of sinless perfection here in this life. But, your life does not have to be a life of bondage. Take God at his word. Heed Jesus’ exhortation to bring God into your struggle. Pray for God to deliver you from evil and trust him to do so.
READ LUKE 11:1-13 FOCUSING ON VERSE 4c
Take some time to reflect on what are your three greatest temptations that you face on a regular basis and write them below:
Now, take time to write out a prayer asking for deliverance from each one. In each prayer address these realities:
Be prepared to share one of these with the group. Break into gender-specific groups of men and women and pray for one another.
PRAY OVER YOUR OIKOS DOCUMENT
PRAY OVER THE 5 REQUESTS ON THE FASTING AND PRAYER GUIDE