As we continue to look at the last line of the Lord’s Prayer, we pray the words:
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.
Yesterday we focused on the first part of that line, and today, we are moving on to the last six words. For just six words, they communicate a lot of information.
First, we need ongoing, daily deliverance. When evangelicals speak of someone beginning a relationship with Jesus, praying a prayer of repentance of sin and faith in Christ, we call that being “saved” or “born again.” The challenge with the term “saved” is that it seems to carry with it a sense of “I did that, so it’s done.” In one sense, yes, you are saved, and like a birth, it happens once. In another sense, you and I need continual saving. We still have an enemy set on our destruction. Even if he can’t take us down with him, he would love nothing more than trip us up and make us ineffective in being faithful to God along the way. Yes, as a follower of Jesus, you are saved, but God continues His saving or rescuing work in your life every day.
Second, there is an Evil One, and he isn’t just a little red guy with a pitchfork. He would love for you to think of him that way. Some cartoonish imp who is there to mess with your life. The Bible doesn’t describe Him that way, though. Instead, the Bible says that he is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He is a thief of life. Father of lies. He is an attacking archer and soldier, equipped with deadly weapons of warfare. He isn’t all-powerful, but that doesn’t mean he is powerless. He is our enemy, but God can and does deliver us from his attacks. But we are asked to pray for that very deliverance.
Third, this prayer is not just for you but for all of us. When Jesus taught us to pray, He didn’t teach us to only pray for ourselves. Rather, He taught us a prayer that could be prayed personally and especially corporately. Jesus and the Apostles requested the prayers of God’s people. As we pray for deliverance from the Evil One, let’s be sure to include not just our own battles but the battles of others. They may not be praying for deliverance for themselves. Let’s go to bat for them!
As you pray today, pray for that deliverance.