The Gospel of Matthew: Deliver Us From Evil.   

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:9–13 ESV)

Perhaps with the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), the Lord’s Prayer is one of the most recited and remembered portions of Scripture. Wall hangings in many homes display it, children memorize it, and gifted singers regale audiences when they sing it. For the next several days, our attention is occupied with studying and understanding it.

However, rightly understood this familiar text is not so much the Lord’s Prayer as it is the prayer of the Lord’s disciples. Additionally, it is not to be unconsciously repeated. Rather, it is to be a guide for prayer. Jesus instructed His disciples about the proper order and contents of biblical prayer.

The prayer consists of six petitions. The first three focus on the glory of God. The remaining three pertain to our relationship with the One, True, and Glorious God. Its structure is similar to the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1-17). The first petition is Hallowed be your name. The second is Your kingdom come. The third is Your will be done. The fourth is Give us this day our daily bread. The fifth is forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. The sixth is “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Not only are believers in Christ to pray that the Lord would not lead us into temptation, but also we are to pray that He would deliver us from evil.

Deliver (ῥύομαι; rhyomai) means to personally rescue ((Matt. 6:13; 27:43; Luke 1:74; Rom. 7:24; 11:26; 2 Cor. 1:10; Col. 1:13; 1Thess. 1:10; 2 Thess. 3:2; 2 Peter 2:7). It is a prayer request believers strongly ask God to do.

What, or from whom, are believers in Christ needing rescue? The text says evil (πονηρός; poneros). This refers to wickedness or worthlessness. The word may also be accurately translated evil one. He is the individual who is possessed by evil and wickedness and seeks to entrap others in the same (Romans 1:18-32).

“We have no way of knowing whether it is πονηρος [ho ponēros] (the evil one) or το πονηρον [to ponēron] (the evil thing). And if it is masculine, it can either refer to the devil as the Evil One par excellence or the evil man whoever he may be who seeks to do us ill. The word πονηρος [ponēros] has a curious history coming from πονος [ponos] (toil) and πονεω [poneō] (to work). It reflects the idea either that work is bad or that this particular work is bad and so the bad idea drives out the good in work or toil, an example of human depravity surely,” explains A.T. Robertson.

Make your fervent prayer today that the Lord would keep you from trials that could become temptations by the evil one. Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Soli deo Gloria!

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