The Model Prayer:
Deliver Us from Evil
The last petition in the Model Prayer looks to the future when
we pray, And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil (Matthew
That is a prayer that every believer should pray daily because we are
all vulnerable to succumb to temptation. One wag said truthfully, If a man wakes up
and finds his house on fire, he does not sit in a chair and write or read a treatise on
the origin of fires in a private house; he sets to try to extinguish the fire and to save
Where is the fire in your house? Each one of us has a different spot of vulnerability. What is a
brutal temptation for one person, may leave another one unmoved, and vice versa. Every
person has a weak spot which if he is not careful can ruin his life.
Do not lead us into temptation. The word for
temptation has the basic meaning, to test. When it is used of
Satan testing us it is with the view of causing us to fail the test.
Are we honest enough with God to ask Him to keep us
out of circumstances and tempting situations because we know from
experience our faith could not endure them? Do we play with temptations
instead of praying that God will keep us away from them?
The Bible tells us God tempts no one (Jas. 1:13).
But we have an old nature that is
always capable of sinning, and it is at war against the Holy
Spirit. Galatians 5:17 explains that both the Holy Spirit and the flesh
are in constant active unceasing conflict. For
the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these
are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
But deliver us from
evil. The word deliver (ruomai) means to rescue, save,
deliver, or preserve someone from someone or something. When the believer is walking
in dependence upon the Spirit he is delivered from the lust of the flesh. Whatever is
undertaken in the energy of the flesh will fail, because it is not in the power of God.
The only way we can possibly be delivered over our old nature is by the Spirit working in
us (Rom. 6:14; 8:2). The most spiritual Christians are warned to pray daily, and do
not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. If we do not we are courting
failure in living the Christian life.
It is our responsibility to
walk in the Spirit, reckon on the indwelling power of Christ living in us, putting off the
old man, mortifying the flesh and abiding in Christ.
The deliverance from the
power of sin is through Jesus Christ (Rom. 7:25). Romans 6:1-10 teaches us that the
believers fallen nature has been judged by co-crucifixion, co-death, and co-burial
with Christ, therefore making it possible for the indwelling Holy Spirit to answer this
petition of the believer.
Evil can be
translated the evil one meaning the devil, or it can mean evil in the ethical
sense. Here it is probably the evil element in life.
The Holy Spirit delivers us
from the power of sin in our daily life. We have been delivered from the
penalty of sin by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The moment we
put our faith in Christ as our Savior we were forgiven of our sins and
the assurance that our debt has been paid in full.
This prayer deals with the power of sin
in our daily life. From the human side it depends upon our attitude of
faith in the death of Christ and the action of faith taking God at His
word and depending on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to over come
temptation. There will never be a time in the Christian's life when he
will not need to depend on the Holy Spirit. The
just one shall live by faithfaith which depends on the power of
the indwelling Spirit. This is what it means to abide in the Spirit or
abide in Christ.
The doxology, For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the
glory, forever. Amen (v. 13b) was added in later manuscripts as a fitting liturgical
closing to the prayer. All power, honor and glory belong to the LORD God.
Our greatest defense against falling into sin is the presence of
Jesus Christ living in us, and our dependence upon Him. What would you do, if you
suddenly found Christ standing beside you? is a good question to ask ourselves
often. How would you then live? It is His
inescapable presence that keeps us from yielding to temptation.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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