And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
This original language to English translation is not very accurate at all. God does not tempt anyone to do wrong things. It is not His holy nature and God does not sin. The audience at the time when Jesus was teaching the mechanics of His model prayer were Jews, who used to pray all the time to be kept far from bad things. What this really means in truthful terms, from the nuance of the original Greek word is “Lord, PLEASE do not allow or let me fall into some sort of trial or hardship which could cause me so much trouble and tribulation, that I would suffer a lot of lost – permanently or temporary”.
Temptation should not be confused with trials. In fact, the actual original word “peirasmos” does NOT mean temptation such as you and I would think. When we hear the word “temptation” – we think about temptation, as regards sins of the flesh – sex, overeating, uncontrolled spending, drinking alcohol and such human folly. What Jesus is teaching us to pray in this prayer, from HIS own word meaning is very crucial. He means for us, in the literal meaning to pray, we are not enticed into sin but remember we have the Holy Spirit Who will always open a door of escape. Not just enticed, but this word “peirasmos” also instructs for us to invoke Heaven’s help to not fail and then lapse from 100% Faith and true Holiness! This is some serious business!
Evil and temptation are aligned. The devil is not worried about those who are unsaved, since he already has them in his grip, bound for an eternity in hell. Those who reject Christ do find a way to avoid temptation. They do have good moral families and some of them remain faithful to their spouses; do not steal; murder or lie under oath etc. There is a reason for this, however. The lost, just like all humans ever created, all have the Law of God written on their hearts. The Law or Moral Code are the same 10 Commandments which the atheists want to remove from the public square, not knowing they will be judged under that same Law and found sadly wanting. Yes, even these people know how to avoid temptation and prison from breaking the law of God and man. Spiritual evil never touch these people. This sort of evil only goes for the people of Christ – the saved, the Elect.....for now! The Day of the Lord is coming for those who have stored up wrath for themselves. Evil and temptation will be judged against the Law of God, which though written on the hearts of men, was rejected by them.
Evil and temptation also are intertwined. They are two sides of the same coin. If a Christian gives in to temptation and falls into some kind of sin – lust, adultery, fiscal shenanigans etc – the coin rolls to the flip side and evil is now part of their lifestyle. Christ is showing us in this prayer that we have to pray against this. We have to know the tricks of the devil and how to engage in spiritual warfare. Teaching in modern churches on this is woeful and lacking because the majority, especially mega churches focus more on Grace and not the full counsel of the Truth. But God in His Wisdom HAS shown us the way, and it is in Ephesians chapter 6 where the weapons of our spiritual warfare are laid out fully for Christians to grab for free and it’s the Full Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Click here to familiarize oneself with this full arsenal of spiritual weaponry, and then let us pray thus:
Father in the Name of Jesus Who showed us how to protect not just our physical bodies, families and homes from all evil, but our testimonies and integrity, we thank You that You did not leave us defenseless. We thank You that in the short physical life we have on this beautiful planet, that You not only provide the means to a good life and for our daily needs of food and home, but for the Protection of our very souls! You love us so much, oh Holy God, that You do not wish us to come to emotional and relational harm with our loved ones and fellow man, and most of all with You. So thank You for this miracle of prayer where we can ask for, plead for and even cry out for Help! We need YOUR Help, Lord, to fight the evil of these corrupt depraved and perverted times. We need Your angels watching our backs as they always do. We will never know how much bad stuff they protected us from until we get to Glory. But now, oh God, we ask that You know only keep us from bad people who will cause us to stumble and even fall, but that You help us to guard our hearts.
We pray for a firewall of protection around our spiritual hearts, minds, eyes, ears, hands, mouths and thoughts that no weapon – ABSOLUTELY NO WEAPON – no dart, no temptation, no nothing will pierce that Shield of Righteous Faith which You have provided for our defense, in order that we are protected. Keep us from the evil one, therefore, and the evil circumstances, ideas and even people who can cause us harm. Even if there is no way we can avoid contact or temporal fellowship with them, in offices, in public or even our churches, help us to fortify our own faith, bodies, minds and souls so that nothing with pierce the Godly Armor You have provided for us. We love, praise, adore, admire, thank and worship You for Who You are and for the Godly Standard of Power and Righteous living You are, in the Mighty and Powerful Name of the Commander in Chief of the Universe – Jesus Christ, amen.