Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Pray then in this way… And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.” [Matthew 6:9a, 13]
Eugene Boring writes, “From the earliest times the church has been bothered by the apparent threat that God could lead Jesus’ disciples into temptation, and had to be supplicated not to do so.” What about you? Are you bothered by this line in the prayer? We must remember that Jesus was teaching his disciples how to pray given the eschatological reality (the end of time) was imminent. Jesus knew that at this time evil would intensify and challenge even the most faithful. Jesus was praying that his disciples would not experience such a time. Yet, seeing this phrase only in light of an eschatological interpretation neutralizes the reality of evil among us in the present moment. The power of evil among us is insidious as well as subtle. This line of the prayer reminds us that we cannot overcome these powers on our own. We need God to guide us and strengthen us. As you focus on this line this week, reflect on those things, the powers and principalities of our present day, which draw you away from God.
Sovereign God, I pray for deliverance from the forces at work among us that are against the ways of your kingdom. Deliver me from anything that lures me away from you. Rescue me, even from myself, for I know I often do what I should not do. Strengthen me to hold fast to you alone, O God. Amen