While we all pray for protection from physical harm, I wonder if we pray at all for spiritual protection. This is the point Jesus is making in Luke 11:4. In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus taught us to pray… “Lead us not into temptation.”
You and I are no strangers to temptation. We battle with it every single day in various ways. When you stop and think about how many times we have stared temptation in the face only to give into its lure, we begin to realize just how very weak we are. We need the Lord! A very important part of our prayer life is calling on God to give us the strength and the power to live for him every single day.
Temptation is a battle because sin is more than just a choice – it is a power, a preying force in our lives. We live in this world surrounded by influences that pull at our soul, lure our affections, and seduce our wills.
This simple prayer - “lead us not into temptation” gives us hope that we do not have to fight this battle alone.
We should pray like David in Psalm 19:14 – “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD.” We discover as we grow spiritually that we still are tempted by sin and we must constantly look to the Lord for his power to resist and live in victory.
Sometimes the question arises: Does this prayer request that Jesus gives us mean that God leads us into places where we are tempted to sin?
The answer to that question is NO! James 1:13 tells us – “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone”
Maybe you have struggled with this. You wonder… “God why do you keep tempting me? Why do I continue to struggle with this? Why won’t you take away this desire?” The scripture says we are tempted by our own evil desires.
So, what is the Lord telling us to pray? This prayer recognizes our spiritual weakness. Our tendency to yield to temptation. This prayer is saying, “God I’m too weak on my own. I need your help when I face the trials of life. Protect me from temptations that I encounter because of my own sinful desires. Give me strength. Help me to respond in a way that honors you.
It’s a prayer that you can pray in the morning – “Father, I am about to walk out this door and face the world. All day I will face temptations to sin. My faith will be challenged. My attitude will tested. Lord, help me to rely on your power. I acknowledge that my power in not enough. Lord, only through you can I be victorious.”
I love Psalm 37:23-24 – “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”
Today’s Challenge: Pray each day for God’s spiritual protection. You know which temptations you are prone to face. Say, God I need your strength! Watch over me today. Protect me. Give me the grace and the power to resist temptation today. Lord my desire is to live in a way that honors you.
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