The final sentence of Jesus’ example prayer is a plea for help specifically with temptation. The first phrase in the English sounds like there is a risk of God leading us into temptation. However, that is not true. The NET translation says that this “is a rhetorical way to ask for His protection from sin.” We lead ourselves into sin (James 1:13-15). Sin is our poor choice (Romans 3:23). We need God’s help to choose not to sin.
God is ready and willing to provide help. We can talk to Him anytime. Jesus example prayer teaches us how.
I have spent the last several weeks going through the Lord’s Prayer. I have used that term, because many know Matthew 6:9-13 by that name. However, this isn’t what Jesus prayed for Himself. This was Jesus’ example to us. This next phrase doesn’t apply to Jesus. He never needed forgiveness.
Jesus knew us so well. He teaches us to ask for forgiveness first and then reminds us that we need to forgive others. As flawed human beings we mix those up. We are more likely to get stuck on having someone ask us for forgiveness rather than admitting to our own wrongs. The truth is that Jesus was the only man who did not need forgiveness.
After taking time to praise God, Jesus comes to requests. He tells us to ask for our needs to be met. This is a simple enough statement, but as flawed human beings we like to complicate matters. We too often ask for wants as though they were needs. We also ask for more than our daily needs. I believe in planning ahead, but I think we can fall into the trap of asking for more than is reasonable.
So when we pray for our needs, we should allow God to guide our prayers. He will show us what our needs truly are and then He will provide.
The Lord’s Prayer continues with “may Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is also easy to say, but much harder to live consistently.
Those of us who have placed our trust in Jesus Christ have the help of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-16). He will lead in our lives to give us the desire to allow God’s will. However, the flesh is still at work and so we switch from being willing to live God’s way back to seeking our own (Romans 7:18).
This is one of the beautiful helps of prayer. In order to keep my heart and mind willing to follow God’s way, I need to humble myself in prayer (James 4:1-3). In order to let go of my own way to consistently accept God’s will, I need to seek God in prayer daily – even multiple times a day. Prayer is a beautiful time spent with God – my Heavenly Father.