Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)
Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
But deliver us from evil. The word evil can also be translated, the evil one.
First, we notice again this is a communal prayer – we are praying not just for us personally, but also our Christian community. Because it is also community focused, it is a reminder to us of our church community, that we need to be praying for others, just as they need to be praying for us!
The evil one
We know who this evil one is – Satan. We also know a few other things. That in the end Satan is defeated. We know that he is not God. He is not omnipresent, all powerful, all knowing or loving. We know he is not looking out for our good, but wanting always to trip us up, and take us away from God.
Not because we are that important, but because God is that important. He knows God loves us – and so any attack on a Christian is by default an attack on God.
1 Peter 5:8-11 (ESV)
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
James 4:7 (ESV)
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Romans 16:20 (ESV)
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
We know the evil one is looking out to get us – but we also know that in Christ we have the power to resist him, and in the final judgment, he will be bound and cast into the lake of fire.
Jesus has always won the victory.
Evil in the world
Satan is not all powerful, or all present. But there is plenty of evil in this world when he is not around looking for us specifically! There are other angels who are under his influence, and plenty of people in the world who are evil in their own right.
Some things we will not be able to avoid! But we pray to be delivered in any case. Delivered from the trial if at all possible, but if it is better we face it, we pray that we will be delivered from that evil, and that God will triumph for His glory.
Deliver us from evil.
So as we pray this, remember that you are not praying just for yourselves, but for the community around you and the church as a whole. Pray that you will be spared from evil where possible, but it if will benefit yourselves or be for God’s glory, then pray you will be delivered through it, knowing that God will come through and provide a way.
Philippians 1:6 (ESV)
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.