Jesus Example Prayer ends with a plea for help with temptation. I find it sad in our society today – sometimes even in churches, that we don’t think we are wrong. When we read the Bible, we find out how wrong we are.
God gave us the Bible to read and learn the truth about who He is and who we are. The book of Romans gives us a good description for both. If you go to Romans 3 and begin by reading verses 9-12 you start to get the picture.
Jews and Greeks alike are all under sin, just as it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one,
there is no one who understands,
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
together they have become worthless;
there is no one who shows kindness, not even one.”
Wow, that is clearly emphatic. We are all sinners. We are wrong. If you continue reading Romans 3, you will find more statements about how wrong we are. If God had stopped here with His Word, we would be in trouble. Thankfully, God made a way to take care of our wrong.
If you continue reading Romans 3 you will find out how this is possible. Verse 24 tells us that we “are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ. Verse 28 gives us the “how”. “For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law.” By faith alone (not works), through Christ’s grace.
Friends, we all need help with temptation. Jesus knew this would be a problem for us, so He put this in His example prayer. Will you pray with me, that we would follow Jesus example?
God is so good.
The last phrase if Jesus’ Example Prayer talks about temptation. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Now we know from James 1:13-14 that God will never tempt us. I think Jesus is reminding us that we need to ask for help from our heavenly Father to make sure we do not allow ourselves to fall into sin.
If you read the book of Romans in the Bible, you will find that we are prone to sin. Romans 3:10 tells us that “None are righteous, not even one.” We also know that Satan (the evil one) is “seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).”
With those two factors in place, we need a lot of help to make correct decisions. The only way we can do that is to ask God for deliverance. He is ready and willing to aid us. Jesus would not have taught us to pray this unless God was going to answer with a resounding yes.
Left to ourselves we will be wrong again and again. With God’s help, we can make right choices.
God is so good.
I know, my title is hideous grammar. To some extent, that is my point.
Those of you who have been following my blog might have seen a pattern. Early this year, I went through Jesus’ Example Prayer by writing about each phrase one time. Then I started going through Jesus’ Example Prayer again, but writing two weeks in a row about each phrase. Now I am breaking that pattern. I want to spend more time on the phrase, “Forgive us our debts, as we ourselves have forgiven our debtors.”
I think we get mixed up about forgiveness. We change the definition of forgiveness to suit ourselves. I call it the “more wronger” idea. I have heard it called the 60/40 rule. As long as the other person is at least 60% wrong, and I am only 40% wrong (or 70/30, etc.) then I am not really wrong. The other person has to ask for forgiveness, but I am off the hook. I don’t think God would agree with that. To be human and breathing is to have the sin nature. Read the book of Romans in the Bible. When we sin, we need to be forgiven. I think that is why Jesus started this phrase with, “Forgive us our debts”. Then He reminds us to forgive others. The two concepts should go together.
I pray this helps you see better who God truly is. Not a made up human view (which is inherently flawed). If we continue to pray as Jesus taught us, we will gain greater insight into God’s character. I can assure you, this is a worthwhile pursuit.
God is so good.
When I first started writing about Jesus’ Example Prayer, I was struck by Warren Weirsbe’s observation of the plural pronouns in the prayer. Some concepts are easier to share than others. Forgiveness is a two way street. We often think in terms of one person doing wrong and the other being wronged. I think we need to realize that sometimes both sides of a wrong can be wrong. The Bible tells us that we are all sinners – just read Romans 3. If we are to properly give and receive forgiveness, we need the humility of knowing how much we have sinned against God. The beauty of this concept is that we are not alone – we all need a proper view. I think if we can remember that we are all sinners, we find asking and receiving forgiveness easier.
Forgiveness will always be a challenging concept, but God will help us understand how to work together to live Biblical forgiveness.
God is so good.