THE LORD’S PRAYER
A Pattern PrayerBy Dr. Vicky Moots(Part 4)
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” Matt. 6:9-13.
V. 13a: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” This is a “3-D” request when we pray this: We are praying for Direction, Discipline and Deliverance. We can trust God to direct us, to lead us in the right path, but we must be willing to follow. We are instructed in Proverbs 3:5-6 to “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
His Word is our road map so we understand why or where He is leading us – just trust that He knows what is best for us as our Heavenly Father. When we acknowledge that and are willing to follow then He can direct and lead us. He will not and cannot lead us into temptation. James 1:13,14 declares, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”
Even though we become a new creation in Christ when we are born again, we still live in this old creation body with its fleshly desires. When we lean to our own understanding and desires, then we can be led astray. If we keep our eyes on the Lord, He will lead us in the right path. When we go down the wrong path by following our own desires, then our Father has to discipline us to deliver us from evil. He does this through circumstances, through His Word (our daily spiritual bread), or through other people.
Because He loves us, He will chasten us. It is His responsibility as our Father. We are advised of this in Heb. 12:5-6: “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.” Does He love you? Do you love Him? Then He will chasten you. When we pray, “Deliver us from evil,” we are asking our Father to discipline us when we need it and are willing to submit to His chastening, because we love and trust Him. We find out by experience that Heb. 12:11 is true: “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
Sometimes He must allow us to have our own way in order to learn our lesson because we don’t take His word for it, like a child who finally has to touch something hot to find out for himself. Sometimes God gives us the thing that we keep begging for even though He knows it may harm us. He allows us to suffer the consequences of our wrong choices, but that does not mean He doesn’t love us. It means He does love us and He is disciplining us through those circumstances.
When we come to the end of our own resources, just like the prodigal son, then we will call upon Him again. The prodigal son in Luke 15 finally “came to himself” when he was dirty and hungry in the pig pen and decided to return to the father. I’m sure he remembered the words that his father had spoken to him before he left home. He returned to his father with an attitude of repentance, feeling unworthy to even be called a son. But his father was watching for him and ran to him and hugged him and kissed him, dirt and all.
The father loved him enough to accept him just as he was, but he loved him too much to leave him that way. He cleaned him up, gave him a clean robe and killed the fatted calf. All this represents the sacrifice of Christ which cleanses us from unrighteousness and then clothes us with His righteousness. He had already been chastened through his experience and had repented and was restored to fellowship with the father who placed him as a son and not a servant.
Psalm 94:12 says, “Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and him out of thy law [the Word of God].” We are blessed as a result of being chastened. This is how He delivers us when we stray. But how much better it would be if we would just heed His Word in the first place and be able to avoid the chastening! If we stay by His side, He will protect us and guide us on our path through life.
Part 5 next issue