Questions 134 & 135

This part of the Lord’s* Prayer reminds us that our world is a broken place. Things go wrong that can make trouble for us. These troubles can sometimes come from the outside of us. We can become sick. People may decide to hurt us or do things to make our lives difficult. Storms and floods and fires are a part of the world that we live in. This request reminds us that followers* of Jesus* have the same kinds of problems that other people have. Sometimes, their problems can be even greater. Jesus said that, if we follow him, the world could hate us just as it hated him.

 

When we pray this way, we can see that we must be delivered from sin or trouble or the Evil One.* When we read the Psalms*, many of the songs of Israel* were songs asking God to deliver them from their enemies. Some Psalms ask God to deliver them from people who were hurting them.[1] Other songs called on God to deliver them from their own sinful desires and ways.[2]

 

But, sometimes, God allows us to go through hard times. James* tells us that God will not tempt us to sin. But God allows us to go through trials that test us. He is at work to make us more like Jesus. One of the tools he uses to do this is to allow us to go through difficulty. His purpose is to make us stronger.[3]

 

We ask that God spare us from being tempted to sin because Satan*, the Evil One, tries to use each test to hurt us. Satan is our enemy. He will always use any way that he can to get us to doubt God or to sin. And we pray to avoid being tempted because sometimes these difficulties cause us great pain.

 

We pray ‘Lead us not into temptation’* because we know our own weaknesses. We know that trials can cause us to be tempted to act in bad ways. Even blessings*, if we forget where they come from, can become a temptation to sin. We can become proud and forget our need for God when everything is good. So, both good and bad things can become tests for us. The Evil One has great skill, and we are weak.

 

In many ways, God’s work in us is a mystery. We know that he wants us to be holy* and know his joy. But we also see in the scripture* that God does not always keep us from being tested. He allows those tests to help us grow. But God will be with us through the test. And he will help us to resist when the Evil One tempts us to sin.[4]

 

We must always be aware that bad things can happen in our lives. But we know that God is in control of even these things. He has either sent them or allows them, to test us and make us strong. But when these tests come, we can trust* that God has the power to deliver us from the evil they bring. And God can keep us from falling as we go through the trials life brings to us.[5]

 

God has forgiven* us and welcomed us into his family. He is making us more and more like Jesus. But, until Jesus returns, we still have the evil desires that fight against us and that we are to fight against. Sin in our hearts* causes us to want to do things that are not what God wants for us. We still find in us desires to love someone or something more than God himself. We pray that God would provide the strength and the wisdom to do what is right and best. And when we find that we have overcome the temptation and been loyal to God, we thank him for delivering us.

 

Jesus never asks us to act as if there is no evil in the world. But he tells his disciples* that God is doing something about it. He can bring good out of it. And one day, God will remove evil from the world.[6] But while we wait, we trust him to give us the strength to refuse the Evil One. And to stand up under the trials we face. That is why we are to make this request. And each time he helps us through a trial, we thank him for his mercy* and we give him the glory* that is due him.


[1] Psalm 13; Psalm 35; Psalm 143
[2] Psalm 36; Psalm 51
[3] James 1:2-12
[4] 1 Corinthians 10:3
[5] Jude 24
[6] Revelation 21:1-4