And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Every person is tempted. And each temptation comes from one of three sources:
- The World: We live in Satan’s realm. He has created a culture that is in opposition to God (Think: religious extremism, sexual abuse, slavery, abuse of power, etc.). This is not the way it’s supposed to be.
- The Flesh: Each of us has a weakness to sin, a propensity to be lured by a certain temptation (Think: pride, lust, gossip, materialism, sexual sin, etc.).
- The Devil: Satan is not omniscient, but he is a student of our behavior and knows our weaknesses. Satan is not omnipotent, but he has the power to leverage the things that lure us.
This part of the Lord’s Prayer is asking for God to protect us from those things that tempt us. Our petition is that God keeps us from giving in to the world, the flesh, and the devil. The pull of sin is strong. On our own, we will succumb every time.
Temptation is not sin, but it leads us one step closer to giving in. We need God’s strength, power, and protection. We need him to deliver us.
Father, you and I know my weaknesses. You and I know my inclination to sin. You and I know that left to myself I will fall every time. Please protect me from temptation and from the evil one who lives to see me fall. I trust in you for strength and help. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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