Deliver Us From ‘The’ Evil – Sunday Thought For The Day
To what extent has ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ as found in Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV) become little more than words we recite, but give little if any attention to regarding specifically what we are petitioning God to do for us? This is the prayer that Jesus, Himself, instructed us to pray. That alone should give us cause to carefully examine and meditate, i.e., think about exactly what we are praying and why. The thoughtless abandon that this prayer of prayers is routinely regurgitated with, is a travesty.
I would say that is especially the case with verse 13 where we pray: “…but deliver us from evil.” (KJV) As the late theologian Albert Barnes explains in his commentary on the Bible: “Deliver us from evil – The original in this place has the article – deliver us from ‘the’ evil – that is, as has been supposed, the Evil One, or Satan.”
The first part of verse 13 is: “And lead us not into temptation;” (KJV) The Pulpit Commentary puts it best by explaining: “This first clause is a prayer against being brought into the fulness and awfulness of temptation. … As such it cannot, indeed, always be granted, since in exceptional cases this may be part of the permission given to the prince of this world. So it was in our Lord’s case. The words are a cry issuing from a deep sense of our personal weakness against the powers of evil. Into temptation; i.e. spiritual. External trials, e.g. persecution, may be included, but only insofar as they are the occasion of real temptation to the soul. But. Do not bring us into the full force of temptation, but, instead, rescue us now and at any other time from the attack of the evil one.”
Thus the petition is a prayer against even the slightest attacks of the enemy when they are made. “Deliver us, i.e., deliver me.” The thought is not merely preserve or even guard from possible or impending danger, but “rescue” us from it when it confronts us. That is why the word “From” is of such critical importance.
The question that we must each examine is: Have we given careful and thorough examination to these final two petitions in the Lord’s prayer? We ask God to “deliver us from the evil one” but are those just words or the burning desire of our Christian being?
The most important part of the aforementioned question is, are we living our lives as Christians in a way that we’re even conscience of the critical importance of this succinct wording? Do we truly want to be delivered from the consuming wiles of “the evil one” or are these simply words we recite?
If these words are not a burning desire in our hearts on a daily basis, then we are probably not much more than lip service Christians. In short, Christian is something we call ourselves, but living our lives with the desire to be more like Jesus is probably the farthest thing from our minds.
Being like Christ means first and foremost desiring to live our lives in obedience to God’s Word. And that requires that we spend meaningful time in the Bible every day.
READ: Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV)
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 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.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here