On Temptation and Evil

Earliest manuscripts of the Lord’s Prayer end with “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (In fact, Luke ends with just “and lead us not into temptation”.) 

When I recite this portion of the prayer, my mind often goes straight towards thinking about temptations and evil, often forgetting to meditate on the underlying inquiry. That is, do I truly seek God’s leadership and trust in His ultimate deliverance?

We discover this when we use Jesus’ prayer model: that as much as it is about communion with God, it is also about introspection and challenging us to improve our relationships with those around us. That we would be happy and willing followers of what God blesses as right and good.

The eternal truth is that no matter what, we will deny what is right and good at some point, falling into the snares of temptation and succumbing to evil. Thus, why we must pray for ultimate deliverance from evil. (Side note: I wonder if Luke excluded “deliver us from evil”, knowing that Jesus has already delivered us eternally through His sacrifice on the cross.)

In the interim, we must ask for God’s leadership here and now. Lead us away from as much temptation as possible today, that we would live better, fuller lives both today and tomorrow. Living fully for God’s Eternal Kingdom.

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