“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:13)
Jesus ends his famous “disciple’s prayer” with a model request for deliverance from temptation and the enemy. Jesus had seen it first hand. During his 40 days in the wilderness, the evil one took his shots at Jesus, delivering up several temptations in attempt to derail Jesus’ mission on earth. Jesus didn’t give in, but he understood the power of Satan’s strategy.
We know the devil can never force us to sin. That’s our choice. (See James 1:13-15.) But the Satan’s job description includes using temptation in an attempt to “devour” Jesus-followers, to bait us into sinful choices and worthless moments that derail our opportunities to be used in God’s mission on earth.
One result of giving into temptation is that we tend to pray less – the exact opposite of what we need most. Pray for help to avoid temptation, to resist it when it comes, and to receive God’s forgiveness and grace when you fail. Whatever happens, don’t stop praying.
Think: When are you most likely to talk to God – asking for strength when faced with temptation or seeking renewal after you’ve given in?
Pray: Ask God to deliver you from the evil one – and to steer you clear of temptation to sin.
Do: If you’ve given in to some temptation recently and/or repeatedly, find a way to pray this line of the “Lord’s prayer” every time you eat this next week. Try memorizing 1 Corinthians 10:13 and making those thoughts part of your “temptation prayer,” as well.