The Lord’s Prayer – Lead Us Not Into Temptation

(Jesus said…) “This, then, is how you should pray:

9 “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”  – Mt 6:9-13, NIV

Meditation

After seeing how Israel’s leaders prayed through uncertainty, I choose to pray differently in this season of doubt, ambiguity and insecurity.  How?  I marinate (meditate?) on God’s character in prayer.  In quiet moments, I immerse myself in God’s names and nature. 

As I pray “Lead us not into temptation, but delivery us from evil”, the name Jehovah-Nissi comes to mind: The Lord Is My Banner. (Ex 17:13-16) God, himself, is our banner and victory. He delivers hope and focus during battles. While praying this part of the Lord’s Prayer, the name evokes memories of how Moses, Aaron, Hur and Joshua defeated the Amalekites in epic combat. 

Joshua’s soldiers prevailed against the Amalekites so long as Moses hands were raised in intercessory prayer to God.  As his hands raised and lowered, so the battlelines advanced and regressed.  Finally, Aaron and Hur gave Moses a seat and propped his arms to heaven.  At sunset, after Israel’s army prevailed, Moses built a rock altar of praise to testify to the God who sustained Israel in battle. (Ex 17)

God is our banner in the hand-to-hand combat of temptation.  Picture His banner with the believer’s coat-of-arms. (Eph 6) We fight the enemy of our souls clad in the full Armor of God.  We stand our ground suited-up with the helmet of salvation, a breastplate of righteousness, the sword of the His Word and a shield of faith.  In readiness, our feet are laced with the Gospel of Peace and gear tucked snugly in place with Truth like a belt.  As Moses, we pray in God’s Spirit for the power of hands raised to ensure victory through temptations that plague us. 

Application

As Christ attests, His followers will always be targets of the enemy’s lure; to the pull and persuasion of sin.  We will be enticed to act inappropriately.  Or give-in to the paralysis of fear when action is required.  Our sin nature craves the siren call of lure and license.  Defeat to sin is brokenness as old as the first Adam.  Victory over sin is triumph as new as the second Adam.     

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.  -1Cor 10:13, NIV

Next Steps

In his Small Catechism[1], Martin Luther explained this petition to his kids this way.  He wrote, “God tempts no one, but we pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us, that the Devil, the world and our flesh may not deceive us, nor lead us into misbelief, despair and other shameful sin and vice, and, though we be thus tempted, that we may still in the end overcome and have the victory.”  

Today, I will pray…

9 “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 Jehovah-Nissi, you are my banner and battle armor.  By Your Spirit’s might, and prayerful hands raised, give victory over the snares of temptation today.”  – Mt 6:9-13, NIV


[1] Luther, Martin, The Small Catechism (Wittenberg, Germany, 1529). Trans Henry Eyster Jacobs, DD, LLD, SysTD., Philadelphia, PA, 1911.