In May I have been writing about how the Lord’s Prayer is a pattern for our prayer lives. This pattern is very formative and – if we pray the way Jesus taught us to pray – it will change the way we live and walk with God.
Today we are wrapping up and looking at the end of the Lord’s Prayer: Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
Once again we have to ask ourselves that question: Do I pray that every day? Honestly, most of us just pray “thanks” and “help me” with a dose of “help them” in there for good measure. The Lord’s Prayer challenges us to pray for the Kingdom, and forgiveness, and for God’s strength to overcome temptation. This pattern of prayer helps us remember that God doesn’t exist to fix all of our problems; we exist to bring God glory – so the goal of our lives is not comfort but to be closer to Him.
Since sin and selfishness pull us away from Him, our daily prayer is to overcome temptation with His help. We pray daily to have His help to fight against injustice and evil in this world and in our hearts.
OK, so step back for a second: how would your life be different if you prayed this every day? I can tell you that the way people pray changes their lives. Prayer gives us access to God’s powerful love and changes our hearts. Prayer focuses our attention on the things of heaven to change the broken realities on earth.
When I pray for God to help me overcome my temptations (and believe me, there are many), I remember that my goal is to be closer to Him. When I ask God not to lead me into temptation I am also praying not to lead MYSELF into temptation (which I do too often – ever been there?). I am reminded that I need to be delivered from my myopic focus on my own little world, I need to be delivered from self-centeredness, I need to join in His fight against evil.
His is the glory forever. May forever start now, may His glory start in our hearts today. Pray the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer every day in your life, and watch your life change.