“Deliver us…” – Prayer series VI

“And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”
Matthew 6: 13

During the week leading up to Jesus’ arrest, Jesus warns Peter, saying, “Satan wants to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith might not fail” (Lk 22:31-32). Jesus does not promise Peter that there will be no trials in life. Peter pledges loyalty even unto death but falls asleep in the garden. Jesus then awakens Peter and tells him to watch and pray lest he enter into temptation, but Peter does not pray and, soon after that, fails in his time of trial by denying Jesus three times. 

When we pray, we are protected by Jesus from Satan and his attacks. Satan, the accuser, is not prevented from his work as “the accuser.” Still, the disciples are instructed in the Lord’s Prayer not only to pray in general but for deliverance from the times of trial that evil brings. 

Whatever one’s views of the nature of Satan, it can be said that the way evil functions in society is most appropriately described using personal language. A demonic energy breaks out in people, societies and nations that act with the force of a guiding evil mind. “Lead us not into temptation” is better translated as, “Do not bring us to the time of trial.” Also, “do not bring us” can be understood to mean “Do not permit us to go.” 

The petition for protection from evil, or the evil one, is a cry from the heart in every age. In 1 Peter 5:8, we find Peter’s words, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 

Seeking God’s protection and guidance must be in our minds and our prayers daily as we venture into the lions’ den..