Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Deliver Us From Evil

Question 106: What do we pray for in the sixth petition?
Answer: In the sixth petition, which is, And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, we pray, that God would either keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted. (WSC)
Not only do we pray for forgiveness - we also pray for a renewal of righteousness within us. Both of these are gifts we receive from God in Christ.

We need to be delivered from evil. The evil one seeks your destruction (1 Peter 5:8). Sinful desires seek to destroy your soul (1 Peter 2:11). The fallen world pressures you to live in immorality (1 Peter 4:3-4). Apart from Christ, we are evil in heart, spurred on by the evil of others around us, and in bondage to the evil one. Even in Christ, we are subject to assaults from these evil forces which seek to destroy us through deceitful temptation. You can resist them only as God strengthens you. Therefore, we are to watch and pray that we may not enter into temptation (Matt 26:41). We are to pray that God would keep us back from sins and would prevent them from having dominion over us (Ps. 19:13).

Pray that God would keep you from temptation by restraining the world and Satan and especially by subduing your evil desires, so that you view the world with purity and uprightness rather than with corrupt imaginations and thoughts. Pray that when you are tempted by the arguments of tempters, by external occasions for sin, and by your inner desire for sin, that you would be enabled to stand firm against such temptation. Pray that God would give you quick and whole-hearted repentance when you do fall into sin. Pray this not only for yourself, but for your brothers and sisters in Christ (“us”), that we all might be delivered from error, sin, and the snares of Satan.

Having prayed this prayer, do not act foolishly and think you are invincible, walking into temptation. Pray for God’s help, and then fight! Be on your guard against temptation. Mortify bad thoughts, cutting them off before they develop. Replace them with good thoughts, good habits, and good words and works.

Pray with hope, knowing that Christ does help his people overcome sin more and more. This prayer will be answered in this age and fully answered in eternity, when all God’s children shall be fully freed from sin, temptation, and all evil, forever.

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