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Mighty God, in the Lord's Prayer we pray, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Of course, we know, Lord, that you are never the source of evil, and thus that you would never lead us or tempt us to do evil, but Satan, who is the power of darkness, does tempt us to do evil and would lead us into temptation. Thus, in the Lord's Prayer, what we are praying for is that you will save us from the evil one.
This shows us then that our spiritual life is always under attack from Satan's temptations. Sometimes the attack of temptation comes from other people. Some people are bad influences. So when we pray, "Lead us not into temptation," we are praying that you will guide us, Lord, in our friendships and associations.
Temptations can also come from those who love us and do not intend to harm us. Sometimes, Lord, you call us to undertake a certain course of action that would involve unpopularity and risk. In such circumstances, it may be that those who love us will seek to dissuade us from acting as we know we ought. They counsel caution, prudence, and worldly wisdom. Deliver us, O Lord, from any temptation, however wise and friendly it may seem, that would cause us to falter in our discipleship.
Further, O Lord, we pray that you will deliver us from the psychology of the mob. When everyone else says that sin is all right, deliver us from the evil of going along with everyone else.
Lord, we know that what is a great temptation to one person is no temptation at all to another. Help us then not to ridicule others when they fall where we would not, for we may fall where they would not. This shows us then that we should pray this petition of the Lord's Prayer for each other, so that we may all be delivered from the attack of the evil one.
This Petition shows us also that we cannot defeat the power of darkness by our strength alone. Rather, we must have you, Lord, as the power of our life, for ultimately you are our only defense against the evil one. In Jesus' name. Amen.
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Copyright 2000 York Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
Last Modified: 05/10/01