TEXT: Matthew 6:9-13
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
We are continuing our in-depth look at the six parts of what is called the Lord’s prayer. As a reminder, those six essential parts are as follows:
1. We praise and recognize God.
2. We put God’s will before ours.
3. We ask for our daily needs.
4. We confess our sins and ask for forgiveness of sin.
5. We ask God to deliver us from temptation and evil.
6. We praise and recognize God’s glory once again.
We have already looked at the first four building blocks of this prayer — “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name”, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” “Give us this day our daily bread…,” and “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Today, we are going to look at the fifth building block in which Jesus Christ teaches us to pray, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
This is a very practical prayer for our everyday lives. Every day we are faced with the temptation to do wrong. Every day, opportunities present themselves before us where we have to choose the path of good or evil. Unfortunately, sin and evil often appear pleasurable and desirable. When we are weak, worried, or stressed, the devil comes to us and makes tempting suggestions. He will make us think that if we give in, our problems will be solved and our life will be easy. He did it with Eve in the Garden. He did it with Jesus Christ in the wilderness. And he does it with each and every one of us today.
But, Jesus Christ gives us a prayer for times like these. He tells us that we can ask of God, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Dr. W.A. Criswell stated, “This is a request for the intervention of God in life’s moments of trial and temptation in such a manner that the ‘way of escape’ is made clear. The petition gives full recognition to the incredible deception and power of temptation and affirms that deliverance from the grasp of evil can come only from the Lord. ”
Now, the phrasing of this request in our English Bibles makes it sound like God is responsible for our temptations. However, when we look at the tense of the Greek in this verse, we find that what it is really saying is that our request ought to be that we not have to face temptation. In other words, our desire ought to be that we not even have to deal with the devil. However, the latter phrase — “but deliver us from evil” — acknowledges that it is possible that we will be tempted. In fact, it is a fact that we will be tempted. And, by asking God to deliver us from evil, we are saying, “Lord, although I would rather not be tempted, when I am tempted, please show me the way of escape and deliver me from it.”
Regarding this phrase, Spurgeon said: “The man who is really forgiven, is anxious not to offend again; the possession of justification leads to an anxious desire for sanctification. When we pray, ‘Forgive us our debts,’ that is justification. When we pray, ‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,’ that is sanctification in its negative and positive forms.”
So, as sanctified children of God, our desire should be to not have any part in the works of the devil — and that includes the possibility of the works of the devil as presented to us via temptation. However, if we are honest, we have to admit that we will face temptation. And since we face that possibility every day, our “backup request” is, “Lord, when I am faced with temptation, deliver me from it. Give me the grace and the power of your Holy Spirit to say ‘no.'” John MacArthur says that this prayer speaks “of a heart desire and inclination that cause a believer to want to avoid the danger and trouble sin creates. It is the expression of the redeemed soul that so despises and fears sin that it wants to escape all prospects of falling into it, choosing to avoid rather than having to defeat temptation.”
Another thing we must note about the word temptation is that it does not only represent the appeal of sin. The very same word used for temptation in the Lord’s Prayer is used elsewhere in the New Testament when the Bible speaks of trials or tests. For example, James 1:2-3 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” So, what do you do when you are facing a trial? Is it right for us to pray that God deliver us from our trials even though we know that trials often strengthen us, purify us, and help us learn valuable spiritual lessons?
When we are facing a trial, we ought to pray as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is alright to express your desire that you be delivered from the trial if possible. But you must, at the same time, submit your will to God’s and leave everything in His hands. Jesus Christ prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me,” but He also prayed, “Yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”
Whether you are facing a temptation from the devil or a test from God, you can always go to our Heavenly Father in prayer for deliverance. No matter how difficult it may seem to resist temptation, and no matter how difficult it may seem to endure a trial, if you lean on God through prayer, He promises to carry you through. The hymn “Yield Not to Temptation” expresses this timeless message:
Yield not to temptation for yielding is sin;
Each vict’ry will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue;
Look ever to Jesus — He’ll carry you through.
Shun evil companions, bad language disdain;
God’s name hold in rev’rence, nor take it in vain;
Be thoughtful and earnest, kind-hearted and true;
Look ever to Jesus — He’ll carry you through.
To him that o’er-cometh God giveth a crown;
Thru faith we will conquer tho often cast down
He who is our Savior our strength will renew
Look ever to Jesus — He’ll carry you through.
Ask the Savior to help you,
comfort, strengthen and keep you;
He is willing to aid you —
He will carry you through.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. Please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.
The good news is found in John 3:16 which says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.