Summary: A prayer for protection during temptation.
A Study of the Lord’s Prayer
Lesson # 7
“Lead Us Not Into Temptation”
“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation,”
In the preceding petition “forgive us our debts,” the request was that sins already committed might be forgiven, but here we have a plea to be delivered from falling into new sins. The petition in the prayer is primarily for protection. It accepts the danger of temptation, acknowledges our deficiency in dealing with it, and asks for deliverance from it.
First, we need to establish what “lead us into temptation” means. It cannot mean that God is the prime mover behind all temptations. Nor can it mean that Christians can pray this prayer and be delivered from all temptation. God does not lead us into a life that is free from temptations. Rather, He teaches us how to look to Him for the necessary strength with which to deal with temptation appropriately.
The key to understanding what this phrase means is to understand that the word “temptation” has two meanings. It can mean to tempt with the goal of causing one to sin or it can mean a test or trial to prove the validity of one’s faith. Obviously God never tempts anyone with the goal of causing them to sin. James 1:13 tells us that, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.” (NKJV) God never tempts any one to evil, but he does test us. James had already explained earlier in the same passage (1:3-4) “knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (4) But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (NKJV)
Others have already faced the same temptations we encounter. Paul explains, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man;” (1 Cor. 10:13a). Paul also explains that God places limits on the test that we face, “ … but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (NKJV)
I. We must realize the reality of Spiritual Warfare.
We cannot be victorious over that which we do not understand. Being ignorant of the fact that there is a great spiritual battle being fought in our world does not erase that fact that it is true.
Spiritual warfare needs spiritual weapons. Temptation is not to be fought with human willpower. The way to resist temptation is to lean heavily upon God’s grace to strengthen and enable us to stand against the wiles of the Devil.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4, tells us “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. (4) For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,” (NKJV)
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. (11) Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (12) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (13) Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (14) Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, (15) and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (16) above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. (17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; (18) praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (NKJV)