Read Matthew 6: 9-13 ESV
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Let’s be honest. I had to sit with this phrase for a while, and I’m still sitting with it. Maybe that’s why I didn’t touch it this weekend. So much for avoidance, right?
The word for temptation here can also mean trial or test. And I know it is not wrong to ask for a test be moved past us. Didn’t Jesus pray in the Garden of Gethsemane for his cup to pass from him? It’s not wrong to ask because we have been told to ask. But if we have to pass through this trial, this test, even this temptation, then snatch and rescue us from evil and all that is associated with it.
We are coming to you because you are the only place to go. The Only One who can provide us answers and peace. We don’t always understand everything. Sometimes we are like your early disciples, and our understanding is dull or warped by preconceived ideas. But we do know this if Jesus taught us to pray like this, then pray like this we shall. Through Paul, you assure us that there is not a temptation that will come that YOU will not provide the way of escape or that we might be able to endure it. Either way, we know you are guarding and keeping us. But if it can pass us by, then, Lord, please let it pass by us. We ask you to rescue and deliver us from evil—we don’t want to just be delivered out of evil, but we long to be delivered into YOU. We are continual recipients of your faithfulness. Therefore, with assurance, we can pray this prayer with faith that you will do what you have promised us you will do. In the rescuing name of Jesus. Amen