Deliver us from evil
'Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me...' Psalm 23
We're continuing to think a bit beneath the surface of The Lord's Prayer. What do we mean when we ask God not to 'lead us into temptation', and to 'deliver us from evil'...?
Some translations say 'save us from the time of trial'. This helps answer the question of whether God somehow has a hand in tempting or testing us. Surely not in a mean and nasty way - though certainly we are exposed to situations which bring us pain and sorrow. The prayer also expresses the reality that none of us like to suffer.
Well-meaning quips like 'God doesn't give us more than we can handle' or that he 'works everything for good' do very little to help us when we feel like we're sinking and want to give up. Walking through the valley of the shadow of death can be utterly overwhelming. But The Lord's Prayer does something very liberating - acknowledging that there is some pretty rough stuff to deal with in life, and that spiritually there is a lot at stake. Precisely because there is so much at stake, God sticks with us through the tough times and is there to meet us on the other side.
Is there something you need 'delivering' from? Ask someone to pray with you if so - God can bring freedom and peace.