Lead Us Not Into Temptation but Deliver Us from Evil

This is one of my favorite parts of The Lord’s Prayer. I think I like it because it is such a practical plea. Temptation is a part of life that everyone has experienced. In 1 Peter 5:8, we are warned, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (NLT) In teaching us to pray, Jesus knew that we needed a straightforward answer to temptation and to overcoming the Evil One. Because of our great need, He taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from Evil.”

While I find this verse comforting, some get bogged down in the wording, wondering why God would lead us into temptation. According to James 1:13 God can not be tempted nor does He tempt anyone, so clearly this verse is not intended to imply that God leads us into temptation. Proverbs 20:24 does say that our steps are ordered from the Lord. “So God does not do the tempting—he does not put evil desires in our hearts (for he can have no evil desires in his heart)—but he does bring us into the presence of many tests and temptations.” (John Piper)

The Lord’s Prayer teaches us to not be overtaken with temptation, and teaches us to ask for deliverance from the Evil one. “The inclusion of a request for God not to lead us into temptation teaches us that avoiding temptation should be one of the primary concerns of the Christian life.” (GotQuestions Ministries) Likewise, “The petition in the Lord’s Prayer not to be led into temptation reflects the believer’s desire to avoid the dangers of sin altogether.” Simply put, we are asking God to lead us away from temptation and to save us from the Devil’s schemes.

When Andrew Murray spoke of the Lord’s Prayer he said, “Our daily bread, the pardon of our sins, and then our being kept from all sin and the power of the evil one, in these three petitions all our personal need is comprehended.” In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus has given us the key which unlocks the secret to all life’s need, but it is up to us to use it.

Photo Credit: Pixaby

Resources:

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/does-god-lead-us-into-temptation

https://www.gotquestions.org/amp/lead-us-not-into-temptation.html

The Andrew Murray Collection: 21 Classic Works

Andrew Murray

https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=642937609

Advertisements

Forgive Us Our Sins as we Forgive Those Who Sin Against Us.

Forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. “This is a hard teaching. The prayer for forgiveness is the only petition in the Lord’s Prayer that comes with a condition attached. If we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven.” Philip Ryken

It is difficult to swallow that my personal forgiveness is contingent upon my willingness to forgive others, yet several times throughout the New Testament there are scriptures which state the same. In both the book of Matthew and Mark we are encouraged to forgive. “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15 ESV) “…whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25 ESV)

When praying The Lord’s Prayer, I find myself wanting to adjust the words to my own liking. Something like, “Forgive my sins as I would like for them to be forgiven.” or “Forgive my sins in spite of my unwillingness to forgive others.” are more like what I want to plea. On a good day, I might even pray, “Forgive my sins and help me to forgive others the way you do.” But rarely do I rush past that contingency phrase without wondering if I really am in agreement.

Quite honestly forgiving is a difficult task. It requires self discipline and willpower, with a side helping of perspective. Although logically we can understand that we should forgive others because God forgave us, that is easier said than done. But the mere fact that Jesus taught us to pray in this manner encourages us that forgiveness is possible. Andrew Murray reminds us that forgiveness is a necessity. “As bread is the first need of the body, so forgiveness for the soul, And the provision for the one is as sure as for the other.” Forgiveness is a necessary decision, and is a muscle that must be exercised. Forgiveness is not contingent upon our feelings, nor if the person deserves forgiveness. Forgiveness hinges on the fact that “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, NIV) Forgiveness is a gratitude response for all that Christ has done for us.

I like what Philip Ryken has to say in a blog presented on Ligioner’s website, “There are still some things we owe to God, however — not out of debt, but out of gratitude — and one of those things is forgiveness.” He goes on to say, “From this petition we learn that we are not the only ones in debt. We have debtors of our own, people who owe us something for what they have done to us. And we are called to forgive them.”

It is important to note that Salvation is a gift of God through His grace alone. Salvation is not dependent on works. “But now, having been forgiven, by the grace of God we are also able to forgive. Indeed, our ability to forgive is one of the surest signs of our having been forgiven. Those who are truly forgiven, truly forgive.” (Philip Ryken)

Phillip Ryken goes on to point out that, “Giving such forgiveness can be very costly, and the more someone has hurt us, the harder it is to forgive. Yet forgiveness also brings great joy, not only to the forgiven, but especially to the forgiver.”

The bottom line is this, Forgiveness is not only a command, but also a great gift. We forgive, because He first forgave us, in doing so we don’t just bless others, but we too are blessed.

References:

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/forgive-us-our-debts-as-we-forgive-our-debtors

https://www.rca.org/resources/lords-prayer

The Andrew Murray Collection: 21 Classic Works

Andrew Murray

https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=642937609

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

“When Jesus said to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” there is both the physical and the spiritual intent of that prayer. We cannot live without physical food for nourishment and we also cannot live spiritually if we do not have Christ in our lives every day.” (Robert H. Berendt)

In The Lord’s Prayer, the term daily bread therefore, references more that just food. Daily bread is a symbol which refers to the provision of all our daily needs. In the Old Testament, through the gift of morning manna, God provided for the Jews in the wilderness with “bread from heaven” (Ex.16:4) In the New Testament, Jesus is given to us to meet all of our needs as the “bread of Life” (Jn. 6:35). Father God desires to meet all of our needs and has reminded us to ask for such provision through prayer.

“This petition of the Lord’s Prayer, then, teaches us to come to God in a spirit of humble dependence, asking Him to provide what we need and to sustain us from day to day. We are not given license to ask for great riches, but we are encouraged to make our needs known to Him, trusting that He will provide.” (R.C.Sproul)

It is important to note that asking for our provision comes only after submitting to God as King and Lord. “When first the child has yielded himself to the Father in the care for His Name, His Kingdom, and His Will, he has full liberty to ask for his daily bread.” (Andrew Murray)

Let us look to Father God to meet our every need through His abundant provision.

Kina Dutro

Reference links:

https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/give-us-this-day-our-daily-bread

https://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-does-give-us-day-our-daily-bread-mean/

With Christ in the School of Prayer (Andrew Murray)

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

When we pray, “Thy Kingdom Come”, we acknowledge that God is King and are asking that He would reign on earth as He does in His heavenly kingdom. The implications of this prayer can be powerful and far reaching! According to a devotional by Growing Christian Ministries, “In its widest sense, the kingdom of God can be defined simply as the realm where God rules.”

When we pray, Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, we are inviting God to rule in our lives. We are asking that we would be obedient to God and that His will would be done in our lives. Moreover, we are asking for God to have His way in the entire world. When speaking of The Lord’s Prayer, John Piper remarked, “This prayer is a prayer that God would continue transforming the world into a place where everyone obeys him perfectly and joyfully.” Imagine how our lives would be effected if King God had his way in our day to day affairs. In this simple phrase it encompasses all the little details of our lives: family, friendships, work, and play, the world around us. This prayer covers ALL that concerns us. When God’s will and kingdom reign are invited to be accomplished in our lives He takes care of all of the details, all we have to do is trust and rest in Him.

As simple as the gift of salvation, The Lord’s Prayer is a gift waiting to be unwrapped and enjoyed by God’s people.

References:

https://www.growingchristians.org/devotions/thy-kingdom-come/

https://www.desiringgod.org/labs/your-kingdom-come

https://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-does-it-mean-pray-thy-kingdom-come/

http://www.lords-prayer-words.com/commentary/thy_kingdom_come.html

Hallowed be Thy Name

Hallowed is not a word that is often used in our society. Although from time to time you might hear the term “hallowed halls” when referring to a great university, apart from that, hallowed is not a word that we are familiar with. In order to appreciate this phrase of the Lord’s Prayer, we need to translate it into something meaningful.

Merriam-Webster defines hallowed as deserving honor and respect. Synonyms for hallowed include revered, reverend and sacred. Other words associated with hallowed are honorable, reputable, respectable, esteemed, respected, admirable, distinguished, worthy, moral, noble and righteous.

In this passage we are proclaiming the righteousness of Father God. But how are we to hallow His name? “The Spirit of the Father is the Holy Spirit: it is only when we yield ourselves to be led of Him, that the name will be hallowed in our prayers and our lives.” Andrew Murray

Murray goes on to ask a broader question “And how is his name to be hallowed?”, which is answered in Ezekiel 36:23, By God Himself: `I will hallow My great name which ye have profaned.” (Darby Bible Translation) The New American Standard translation of 1977 puts it like this, “I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations.”

For a lifetime, I have wondered how to hallow the name of God. As I read this passage I stood in awe. Just as God has made provision for our salvation, He has also made provision for hallowing His name. I must acknowledge that He is holy, but He will vindicate His holy name. With or without me, the holiness of God’s great name will be revealed. Although God’s holiness can and should be revealed through my life, hallowing God’s name is not dependent on me. This is such glorious news! While I acknowledge God’s holiness, He takes all the responsibility for revealing the holiness of His great name. Praying, Our Father, Hallowed be Thy Name, is simply us asking God to show his holiness, the goodness of Father God in and through our lives.

Now, that’s a prayer worth praying!

References:

Bible Hub, BibleHub, 2004-2018. Accessed 1 Mar. 2018.

Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster Incorporated, 2018. Accessed 26 Feb. 2018.

With Christ in the School of Prayer- Andrew Murray

Photo Credit: Pixabay (TheDigitalArtist)

Our Father Which Art in Heaven

“The knowledge of God’s Father-love is the first and simplest, but also the last and highest lesson in the school of prayer.” (Andrew Murray)

Old Testament Saints NEVER referred to God as Father. In fact God was so feared that they didn’t dare to utter His name. In Old Testament times, God was refereed to by his character: Mighty Creator, God Almighty, The Lord who Heals, The Lord is Peace, to name a few. “Though the Old Testament provides many rich names and titles for God, the New Testament reveals him most fully. Jesus, in fact, shocked and offended the religious leaders of his day by claiming that he had a Father/Son relationship with the God whose name they feared even to pronounce. Furthermore, by inviting his followers to call God “Father,” he made this the primary name by which God is to be known to his followers.” (Spangler, 2004)

Through Jesus Christ, we have the privilege to, not only call God father, but to be adopted into His family as sons and daughters. When we pray, “Our Father” we acknowledge God’s love for us as His children. We should also acknowledge that God is not an average earthly father, he is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He has all power, He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Through Christ, the most powerful being in the universe has adopted us into his family and is working on our behalf. He is our dad! He loves us and is working for our good.

In Romans, Paul writes, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NASB) In Matthew, Jesus said, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11, NIV)

Like a child, looking to his father to meet all of his needs, we pray to Our Father, acknowledging His position as provider and acknowledging that He not only can, but desires to take care of us. (Phil. 4:19)

(It may be difficult in our society, with the rising number of single mothers and unengaged dads, to comprehend the concept of a loving and caring father. But the Bible describes God’s character and in doing so he is the ultimate role model for earthly fathers. In Psalms 68, He is called Father to the Fatherless. Even when earthly fathers fail us, let God be the ultimate example of what Father-love should look like.)

References:

NIV & NASB Bibles used.

Spangler, Ann. Praying the Names of God. Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 2004. Accessed 25 Feb. 2018.

With Christ in the School of Prayer

“Though in its beginnings prayer is so simple that the feeblest child can pray, yet it is at the same time the highest and holiest work to which man can rise.” -Andrew Murray

The Lord’s Prayer is so simple that we often take it for granted! When asked how to pray, Jesus Christ used it to teach His disciples. And He desires to use it to teach us as well. Study it, meditate on it, learn from it. Don’t be tempted to rush through, merely reciting from memory with little thought given to the words you say.

“Jesus has opened a school, in which He trains His redeemed ones, who specially desire it, to have power in prayer.” -Andrew Murray

Ask God to reveal to you the hidden treasure within His prayer and then learn from Him.

(I am currently reading, With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray. I highly recommend his books and teaching. His writing is written in old English, so if you’re like me, it may take a bit of effort to muscle through. But I promise you, it will be time well spent. In chapter 4 of this book there is an in-depth look at The Lord’s Prayer. I have spent the last three months reading and studying this chapter over and over again. Just now I feel that I am beginning to grasp the depth of this “Model Prayer”. With understanding, I am now going to read chapter 4 again. Over the next several weeks I will share with you from Andrew Murray’s teaching on prayer. If you are interested in reading some of his writings, iBooks has an ebook entitled The Andrew Murray Collection. It contains 21 of his classic works. It cost $1.99usd and contains, With Christ in the School of Prayer.)