“Lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil“– Luke 11:4
There is a balance to successfully avoiding or facing any temptation. On the one hand, we have a responsibility to turn away from any situation, person, or opportunity that draws us away from God.
We cannot, with any sincerity, be praying for our heavenly Father not to lead us into temptation, if we are not ourselves striving to avoid temptation. If we are praying “lead us not into temptation” while rushing headlong into sin, our prayers are a farce and will be ineffective.
On the other hand, Jesus’ model prayer reminds us that we do not, in and of ourselves, have the strength to face or overcome temptations to sin. This is why we pray for our Lord to deliver us from evil.
We need His deliverance. We need His strength. When it is all said and done, we must confess that any sin we have ever overcome or been delivered from was overcome through the grace and leadership of our heavenly Father.
It is for this reason that we are taught to also pray, “thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.” May that be our heart’s song as we face every temptation through the strength of His Spirit. (Baptist Bible Hour)