Do We Ignore This Prayer, Because We Do Not Want It Answered?
Devotional/Discussion Thought of the Day:
13 No temptation has come your way that is too hard for flesh and blood to bear. But God can be trusted not to allow you to suffer any temptation beyond your powers of endurance. He will see to it that every temptation has a way out, so that it will never be impossible for you to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (Phillips NT)
“And lead us not into temptation.”
18 What does this mean?
Answer: God tempts no one to sin, but we pray in this petition that God may so guard and preserve us that the devil, the world, and our flesh may not deceive us or mislead us into unbelief, despair, and other great and shameful sins, but that, although we may be so tempted, we may finally prevail and gain the victory.
201 In a Christian’s life everything has to be for God—even personal weaknesses, once they have been put right! The Lord understands and forgives them.
As my devotions seem to be focused on prayer this morning, I once again find myself analyzing my prayer life, measuring it against that of scripture, and those like Luther and Escriva, men whose dependence on God I wish I could emulate.
Not because they were giants in knowledge, but rather because their ability to express their needs simply, to be honest about their thoughts and feelings. And because there are days where despair is my greatest temptation, as it seems they understand.
So when I came across, this portion of the Luther’s Small Catechism, I thought, besides in praying the Lord’s prayer, when was the last time I prayed that God would lead me not into temptation but give me the strength to endure it?
Not only when was the last time I prayed this petition for myself, but for my leaders?
Perhaps it is simply apathy. Said that, God promised it, time to move on, nothing to see here? Perhaps it is worse, the things I am tempted to do, to say, to think, I am too comfortable with, even as I realize they betray my weaknesses?
Do we consciously or subconscious omit this from our daily prayer because we want to avoid confronting that which tempts us, that which ensnares us, those sins that are all too common in our lives? Do we too easily give place to lust, or despair, to doubt God’s promise? Do we become to comfortable with being broken? Is it too easy justification for not living life in Christ? Is that why this is only prayed in our repetition of Christ’s prayer?
Are we afraid, that if we truly pray, truly desire that God would not lead us into temptation, that He will answer that prayer?
I like the point St. Josemaria makes, that we need to realize these weaknesses, yes even these temptations can be used by God, even as He is putting them to right. As we confess them, as we plead for Him to not lead us into them, we give Him the authority over them. Even as we realize we can’t overcome them, as we depend on Him, we find out that He has give us the victory! We will prevail not by avoiding the temptation, but by allowing Him to lead us through the temptation, showing us the way out, as we are crucified with Christ.
For at the cross is where sin and temptation lose their power, as Paul instructs the Galatians,
24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have put to death their human nature with all its passions and desires. 25 The Spirit has given us life; he must also control our lives.
Galatians 5:24-25 (TEV)
As we pray lead us not into temptation, what we are praying is the we realize that the Holy Spirit is not just the Giver of Life, but the Lord of it as well. That the Spirit calls us to know what Christ has taught us, that we are family, treasured enough by God that the cross becomes the revelation of that love.
The peace that God desires we know shatters the power of temptation and the sins that temptation would have us treasure, even as we learn to pray. This too is included in our prayer, Lord Have Mercy!
Tappert, T. G. (Ed.). (1959). The Book of Concord the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. (pp. 347–348). Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press.
Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge (Kindle Locations 896-898). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on May 16, 2016, in Augsburg and Trent, Devotions, Theology in Practice and tagged forgiveness, Life in Christ, Martin Luther, prayer, St. Josemaria Escriva, The Lord's Prayer. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.