We are coming to the close of our series on the Lord’s Prayer. But the beautiful thing about true prayer is that it never stops. Proseuchomai is an ongoing lifestyle; a continuous living in God’s Kingdom, trusting Him for our daily bread, bearing His Name and revealing His character.
God is our Father and Lord. He is our provider and redeemer. And He is our protector.
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:9-13, emphasis added
Temptation. How often I give in. How often I feel powerless. How often I repeat the same mistakes.
But God not only forgives sin, He cleanses and enables me to say no to sin, to live for Him. I cannot do it on my own; I need Him.
And that is what this prayer acknowledges. Our need for God. For God is our Deliverer and Protector.
In 1 Corinthians 10:13, this promise is made: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
God is faithful. He never leaves and always fulfills His promises. He will be with us and will fight for us, providing a way out when we are tempted. But we must choose to take that way out.
Jesus walked the earth, journeying through human life, with all it’s joys and hurts and sorrows and delights. And through it all, He was obedient to God, even to death. So through Him, we have freedom from sin and death.
“Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death - that is, the devil - and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels He helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because He Himself suffered when he was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:14-18
We are not slaves. We are children of the Holy One! We do not have a spirit that makes us a slave to fear, but we have the Spirit of sonship, who testifies with our sprit that we indeed are God’s children (Romans 8:14-15).
Yes, there is a way out. The chains have been broken.There is freedom for us.
So how do we live in this freedom?
Jesus walked in freedom and was able to provide such for us, and He is our perfect example; the Liberator we follow to freedom.
I want to take a look at a specific event in Scripture, so we can learn from Jesus as He faced temptation but did not give in. This event is found in Luke 4:
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them He was hungry.
“The devil said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.’
“Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man does not live on bread alone.”’
“The devil led Him up to a high place and showed Him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And He said to Him, ‘I will give You all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if You worship me, it will all be Yours.’
“Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”
“The devil led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. ‘If You are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: “He will command His angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will life you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”’
“Jesus answered, ‘It says: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’
“When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left Him until an opportune time.
“Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit…” (Luke 4:1-14)
This account may be familiar, one we have heard a lot, but it is still full of truth. And that is one of the ways out of temptation: the truth of God’s Word.
The truth sets free (John 8:32). For in God’s Word we find who He is and who we are in Him. We are given His promises and taught how to live in those promises.
As Jesus was tempted, He responded with truth. The evil one warps and distorts and twists. This is why wrong is so tempting. Because it is made to look good. It is made to seem fulfilling.
But God’s Word, that is the reality. The light showing which way our feet should walk (Psalm 119:105). As we learn it and hide it in our hearts, it guards us from deceit, that we may not sin against God (Psalm 119:11).
In the first and last verses of this passage, we see that Jesus was full of and living in the power of the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” For those who live by the Spirit will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature (Galatians 5:16); will not be a slave to sin.
The Spirit is of truth, and He guides into truth and reminds us of the commands and promises of God (John 14:26, 16:13). We hear His voice, saying “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)
It is the Holy Spirit in us that gives us the power to resist the devil. And when we resist, he must flee (James 4:7).
As we learn the truth of God’s Word and follow the leading of His Spirit, will we still sin? Yes, but we will not be slaves to sin. For we as we pray “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one,” we know that God surely does deliver and provide a way out. He has made the one who was a captive of sin a righteous child of His.
When Jesus' disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, to teach them proseuchomai, He responded with a prayer that is all about who God is: Father, King, Provider, Savior, Deliverer. All expressions of His unfailing love. Proseuchomai draws us to God. To His very heart. Proseuchomai is living in constant fellowship with God; fellowship that overflows and is the very foundation of our attitudes and actions.
The post Teach Us to Pray: Deliver Us first appeared on The Overflowing
All Scriptures taken from the NIV
Photo fromUnsplash, edited by Jessica Faith