“And lead us not into temptation.”
You may have seen the bumper sticker that says “Lead me not into temptation; I’m perfectly capable of finding it on my own.” Sounds like my story. The reality is that every one of us faces temptation. My observation is that we tend to underestimate our ability to handle adversity and overestimate our ability to handle temptation. I have sat with many people who have given in to temptation, and I hear this kind of reasoning: “I never imagined what those first steps would lead to.” “No one faces the temptations I do.” “It’s hereditary. Everyone in my family is this way.” When we think of temptation, we usually think of things like adultery and stealing; but we face temptations over a whole spectrum of issues: spending too much, eating too much, overindulging our children, etc. When Jesus gave His disciples a template for prayer, I don’t believe He wasted any words or just shared casual thoughts. He very purposefully taught His disciples to pray that they would be delivered from temptation, so that’s what we should pray too.
Heavenly Father, give me the wisdom and courage and awareness to say no to temptation. Help me to banish ungodly thoughts before they take hold. Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, that Your purposes might be worked out for the glory of Your Son, Jesus. It’s in His name I pray, amen.
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