The most prayed prayer, the most recited, the most repeated, the best structure for prayer… the Lord’s prayer
I just shared in a prison chapel last night this prayer and focused on the last line… deliver us from evil or the evil one
Such a great trailer, caboose, ending, close these words do make
I even heard it used in a Spiderman movie… check this out… it is a scary scene so beware… https://youtu.be/VrhJiD3AEg4 not sure how the Spanish got in there… and I’m not sure how this prayer got in the movie… but he certainly was evil
Excuse me…I digress… I have a penchant for superhero stuff
Anyway… Last night I shared this message with the prisoners in chapel. Such a great passage and I thought someone could benefit from these thoughts
Let me know what you think…. here goes:
The Lord’s Prayer… Deliver us from the Evil One
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘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,[a] but deliver us from the evil one.[b]’
Let’s look at this perfect prayer for a minute and break it down a little before I get to the focus of our chapel tonight… which is the last line.
We have 3 petitions or requests towards God or aimed at the glory of God…
We want God’s name to be held high, to be respected, for him to get the credit He has coming
“Hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done
Then there’s 3 petitions directed to our needs…
“Give us our daily bread, forgive us our sins, and lead us not into temptation.”
This is the guideline for how we are to pray… we know this prayer by heart… most of us were taught this as children, we can recite it without even thinking about the words
So here’s how we can use this Lord’s prayer going forward… we’ll use it as a guide when we pray to the Lord
Remember… first, it’s about the glory of God then we get to our needs… this is hard to do because in this age in which we live it’s all about us
When we say “Father,” … we are saying that everything comes from Him… most people start a prayer… Dear Heavenly Father
When we say “Hallowed be Thy name,”… we are saying He is Holy, He is above us
When we say, “Thy kingdom come,” … we know one day His kingdom is coming… things are going to be made right… injustices will not be something we have to deal with daily… we could spend the evening right here… I wish I could
When we say, “Thy will be done,” … this reminds me of John the baptizer when he said “Jesus needs to increase and I need to decrease” … His will be done, not my will… remember these words? “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself.”
I think this is the heart of the Christian life, isn’t it? This is the gospel. This is the hardest thing we will not only pray but will ever do
Those were the first three parts directed at God’s glory… now the part that talks of our needs…
– When we say, “Give us this day our daily bread,” … we are thankful for our daily provision… we say grace at our meals and thank the Lord for His goodness towards us
– When we say, “Forgive us our sins”…. we understand that we have a problem… sin… and we are in dire need of a savior… I always appreciate the line you hear around Christmas time… and you shall call Him Jesus because He will save His people from their sins… this was His mission.
And, like the next most famous verse after the Lord’s prayer… John 3:16 He so loved the world that He gave us His Son… the answer to our sin problem… and whosoever believes in the Son and what He did for us on the cross will be saved.
That could be another sermon.
And finally we come to the last petition
– We say, “Lead us not into temptation” …
We continue to pray…. but deliver us from evil,” or we also read in some Bibles, “From the evil one.”
I think we got a fair overview of the perfect prayer… we can frame all of our prayers with the Lord’s prayer… because we know it so well we can use it to help us when praying might be hard or when we don’t know where to begin
But I think it all leads us to this last line in the most recited prayer. And… I think what happens… at least in my case, I’ve repeated this so many times that by the time I get to the end I’ve checked out mentally and just am saying it for saying its sake… know what I’m talking about?
We pray all these things up until this line and we got ourselves all lined up with God, then comes the conclusion…
Now Lord protect us, lead us not into, deliver us from… evil… from the “Evil One”… and we know who this is, don’t we?
We back up a few chapters and you see the confrontation in the wilderness with the Devil. He’s matched up with our Lord Jesus Christ… and actually, it’s not really a match. Jesus has his number, Jesus knows his game and what he’s all about.
Isn’t it always about the devil getting us not to trust the Lord, not to put our faith in Him, not to take God at his word, to doubt Gods perfect, holy, inerrant Word… to twist God’s word.
And… we are not going to do a study of Matthew 4 right now… that’s another sermon as well
But I will point out that every time the Devil came at Jesus with his deception it seems like he got the same response… “it is written”
Check it out for yourself… a great way to handle the doubts and deception that get thrown at us from the pit… know what is written
Lead us not into temptation… Lead me not into temptation
This is the prayer at the end of the Lord’s prayer that we will focus on as we wind down
Our prayer is for God’s protection
Our prayer that God would lead us into paths of righteousness… from Psalm 23
Our prayer is that He gives us what we need to withstand the attacks of the evil one
We know that this world is full of temptations; there are all kinds of spiritual landmines out there
Seems like the world, our flesh, and the devil never rest a minute
It doesn’t take much for us to blow ourselves up, to find trouble, to go down the wrong path and to be caught in the trap of the devil
That’s why we pray…. Lord, lead me not into temptation… deliver me… help me… protect me… watch over me
The one thing we realize is that God never leads me into sin…
James 1:13… Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
James 1, vs 14, “Each one is tempted when he’s carried away and enticed by his own lusts.” It’s when lust is conceived that it gives birth to sin. And when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
For the older crowd… they will recognize the name, Flip Wilson…. remember his famous line? The Devil made me do it… no he didn’t… no one forced you to do anything. It wasn’t your upbringing, your family, your environment, your neighborhood you grew up in
Giving in to a situation is a choice… it’s our choice
None of us are above falling into sin
There but for the grace of God there go I
Not in the Bible but… First said in the 1500’s by a Christian martyr, John Bradford
So we have had a nice study in the Lord’s prayer with the nice caboose of “lead us not into temptation”
What it comes down to is avoiding sin… temptation leads us into sin
What are we to do to avoid the situation, to stay clear of the temptation or… like 1 Cor 10:13 says…
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
With the temptation realize the escape hatch that has been provided for you
No ones forcing you to sin… is someone twisting your arm?
Heb 12:4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
Can I share with you some help in avoiding temptation?
Here are 7 takeaways that will help us
No significance to the number 7 here… but it is a good number… isn’t it
- Avoid Sin…. isn’t this what temptation is going to lead to? Since sin is a choice, we need to give ourselves to avoiding sin. A great teacher that I’ve studied for years…. John Owen… says that we are to be killing sin or it will be killing you… what do we mean? Grandma used to say we better nip it in the bud… we better or it’s going to spiral out of control. We need to be thinking about the choices we make. Lord help me to do this daily. I need to pull out my Note to Self book from Joe Thorn and preach this to myself first.
- Avoid listening to the arguments that sin will bring to you… I always think of the cartoons where there’s an angel on one shoulder and the devil is on the other… someone’s about to make a bad decision and the voices start…. come on, it won’t be so bad, nobody will find out, come on… it will be so good… then the angel, the voice of reason says… think of the consequences, think of who it will hurt, think of the God that you say you love… how it will offend him
But always remember like this verse I’ll start to quote and someone will finish… the wages of sin is… death… but… the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord
Sin, the devil, the world… they are out to take you down… to kill you… seriously… the devil says its not so bad… it is bad, it is catastrophic
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
- Avoid being passive… a slacker… just not doing anything about sin
Avoid being reactive instead of proactive
Remember Joseph and Potiphar’s wife… Run! flee!
Do we want to just let go and let God? God forbid
Jesus said we need to watch and pray that you do not enter into temptation… and we remember how that ended for Peter
- Avoid those who help lead you into temptation…
We need to be in fellowship with Christian brothers…
Galatians 6:1… Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
Do not have a relationship with people that are going to lead you into sin… here’s one for you… your cell phone… do you know how to delete names? If not… get help
- Avoid going in the direction of temptation…
Got a problem with drugs… cut off those friends or going anywhere historically that you’ve gone in the past where you found yourself with drugs
Got a problem with alcohol… join a program, don’t have the stuff in the house, treat it like the plague, avoid the aisle in the store or the corner bar where you seem to end up
Got a problem with porn… get filters, get an accountability partner, get a strategy
Got a problem in the moral areas?
Whatever it is… gambling, overeating, spending, stealing, sexuality…. you got to have a plan
Avoid going toward sin in any way
- Consider where sin is going to end… where it will take you
We talked about this for a minute
You need to play the scenarios through
Like we shared, sin leads to death… the wages are always the same
Think of what sin did to our Lord Jesus… that’s how serious sin is… look at the lengths our Lord had to go through to deal with it
- We need to wise up… where do we go for wisdom?
What is wisdom? From Webster’s…
In Scripture theology, wisdom is true religion; godliness; piety; the knowledge and fear of God, and sincere and uniform obedience to his commands. This is the wisdom which is from above.
Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God
We need to hear from God, from Jesus
Through good Bible preaching
Through good bible studies
Through good, meditative Bible reading
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
So when your day comes, when you need to be delivered from evil… you can be ready
Because you can be watching and praying
Because you know the schemes of the Devil
Because you know yourself… the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak
Because you know the, “It is writtens”… and can combat the temptations with the Word of God
Because we learned how to avoid temptation… a strategy, a change of friends, a change of direction, and getting God’s wisdom… his Word into your system
Let’s recite the Lord’s prayer one more time before I pray us out…