And do not bring us into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.
Some quick thoughts on temptation, based on how Jesus taught his disciples to pray:
1. It is ok to pray that you would avoid temptation.
In fact, Jesus specifically says we should pray that God would not lead or bring us into temptation. Also, if Jesus says we should pray this, perhaps we should also choose to do it and do what we can to avoid leading ourselves into temptation. Just saying.
2. Jesus knows we need God to deliver us from the “evil one”.
James writes that as part of submitting ourselves to God, we are to “resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. I remember one of my youth leader’s words on this, when teaching the story of Joseph: “The Bible tells us to avoid temptation, and resist the devil. Too many Christians mix those up, and try to resist temptation, while avoiding the devil!”.
Jesus ends by transitioning using the word “for” – as in, “because”. That implies we should pray everything up to that point “because” the kingdom, the power and the glory belong to God.
Would that change how you pray?
If you knew – if you really knew, in the part of you that affects how you feel and how you act – that God has everything ultimately under His reign, that He had the power to do more than you could possibly ask or imagine, and that He was absolutely worth every little bit of praise, worship and adoration that anyone could offer Him…would that change how you prayed the other things Jesus includes in this prayer?
Would it change how you call on God’s kingdom to come?
Would it change how you ask Him to do His will here on earth?
Would it change how you ask Him to provide everything you need?
Would it change how you ask Him to forgive your sin – and help you forgive others?
Would it change how you ask Him to keep you from temptation, and deliver you from the evil one?
Here is my encouragement for you: believe that God’s is the kingdom, the power and the glory – forever and ever – and pray with faith, joy, an open heart and eyes lifted to heaven. Pray hard, pray boldly, pray with confidence that this is the God you are praying to!