This woman had been teaching her three-year old daughter the Lord’s Prayer. For several evenings, at bedtime, her daughter would repeat after her the lines from the prayer. Finally, her daughter decided to go solo with much pride she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer: “Lead us not into temptation,” she prayed, “but deliver us from e-mail. Amen.”
In the last part of the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus wants us to place our trust in God during trying times and to pray for deliverance from Satan (“the evil one”) and his deception. We all struggle with temptation. Sometimes it is so subtle that we don’t even realize what is happening to us. The Greek word translated as “Temptation”, “peirasmos” [pi-ras-mos], carries with it the meaning of “testing”. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Again…there is great hope. God promises that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond our strength. He will always provide a way out. As we pray these words we recognize our sinful nature and our need to depend on God in the face of temptation.
“There are some interesting parallels between this prayer and Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46). The Lord’s Prayer affirms the will of God (‘your will be done’), then asks for relief and delivery from trials. In the garden, Jesus asked the Father to remove the cup of trial while immediately declaring his willingness to cooperate with his Father’s will.
I heard it best said like this: “The end of the Lord’s Prayer reminds us of the importance of testing, even though we seldom desire it. Our prayer should be: ‘And lead us not into further testing even while you are leading us out of evil.’ Jesus both taught and modeled a freedom in prayer that dared to ask almost anything, fully knowing that the Father will do what is best.’ “
1 Corinthians 10:13 (TNIV)
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to us all. 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.
Matthew 26:39 (TNIV, Jesus praying in the garden)
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Matthew 6:9-13 (TNIV, This is Jesus speaking)
9 This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’