Developing A Proper Prayer Life - Part IX
“After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” —Matthew 6:9-13
Lead Us Not Into Temptation
At the outset of this phrase, one could very well look at this statement and believe that it is the Lord Himself who leads us into temptation, but we must, however, look at what this actually means. We must comprehend that God never leads anyone into temptation, but rather Satan does. God never tempts anyone; He tests His children. Let’s put it this way: Satan tempts us for destruction while God tests us for victory.
Everything that Satan does against us is not so much against us as individuals, but rather it is against our faith. Every attack that is leveled against us is to try to severely weaken or destroy our faith, and those attacks can be quite powerful. However, there is an addendum to that, for even though there will be attacks leveled against us by the enemy, God is the one who designs the boundaries, for we see that in the book of Job, Chapter 1. Satan can only do what God allows him to do, and he cannot go past the boundaries designed by God. Satan will bluster, saying all sorts of things to cause us to doubt, but he cannot go outside of what has been set up by God.
Listen to me, child of God. Satan is a master at proclaiming our demise, and at times, we believe those words; however, if Satan had the power to do what he says, he would have done it a long time ago. He hasn’t because he can’t. You are still here, and God is still on the throne.
Not only are we to understand that Satan has set his sights on the child of God to weaken his faith, but, ultimately, he means to move the Christian’s faith away from the finished work of Christ. He levels his greatest attacks against those whose faith is anchored in Christ and Him crucified. In fact, he really doesn’t care about your faith as long as it’s not anchored in the Cross. Once a person becomes engaged in the Message of the Cross, then the true battle begins. The reason I say this is because Satan knows where your victory lies, and he knows that you have now found the secret to overcoming, Christian victory. He will stop at nothing to see to it that your faith is moved from the Cross to something else, and he doesn’t really care what that is.
Paul told Timothy to “fight the good fight of (the) faith,” (I Tim. 6:12). This means that Timothy was instructed by Paul that no matter what happened in life, he was to never, ever look away from the Cross of Christ relative to his sanctification. While this will be a fight, Paul said that it is a good fight because it’s a fight that has already been fought and won by Christ. There is nothing that Satan fights harder than the truth of the gospel, which is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Satan will do everything within his power to diminish the spread of the gospel.
Satan levels all sorts of attacks against us for our destruction, but God tests us to bring about ultimate victory in our lives. This is for our spiritual growth, and every believer is in need of spiritual growth. “Faith must be tested, and great faith must be tested greatly,” is a statement that I have heard for the majority of my adult life. How true that statement is! Every child of God who has ever lived has had his faith tested at some point in his life, for this is a part of spiritual growth. As well, it is training for the child of God. In fact, the word temptation here really means “testing.”
The Holy Spirit must bring us to a place where the Cross of Christ is the sole object of our faith. Many times, that is brought about through trials that take place in our lives. These trials come in many and varied forms, but come they will. Even though we will experience some very difficult times in life, we must remember that everything that happens to the child of God is either caused by God or allowed by God. At the same time, these trials will show us that our faith is imperfect at times, which means that it is full of impurities. We must come to the understanding that our faith must ever be anchored in the finished work of Christ.
Deliver Us From Evil
As Christ stated to His disciples, when we are in prayer, we are to ask the Lord to deliver us from evil. The word deliver refers to a pitfall that has been designed by Satan from which we cannot extricate ourselves, no matter how hard we may try. These pitfalls are designed to destroy us and, in reality, our faith. When we find ourselves facing this scenario, we must remember that the only means of deliverance comes through the power of God. When it comes to deliverance, many today are not acquainted with how this deliverance takes place. Because of that, they look to all sorts of methods that will never bring about deliverance.
When Jesus began His earthly ministry, He started by proclaiming what His ministry was all about. He began by reading from Isaiah, Chapter 61, and those words permeated the crowd in Nazareth: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Lk. 4:18-19).
Notice that when He spoke of deliverance, He said, “To preach deliverance to the captives.” That’s quite an interesting way to say that, for He did not say “to deliver the captives,” but “preach deliverance to the captives.” He was saying that so many are bound by sin and are held captive by Satan, and the only means of deliverance is through the preaching of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. This message is the only means by which a person can be delivered. It comes through the preaching of the Message of the Cross, for when a person preaches the Message of the Cross, he is, in fact, preaching deliverance.
Whenever I preach, whether it is at Crossfire, Family Worship Center, over television, radio, or the Internet, or in one of my rallies, the only answer for the sinner and the saint is the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, I am preaching deliverance to the captives. The reason we say this is that Satan and all of the demon spirits are so powerful that it takes a greater power to bring the person out of darkness. That power is the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit desires to bring about the victory that we so desperately need in our lives, but He can only do so if our faith is anchored in Christ and the Cross. This means (and I say this at the risk of sounding like a broken record) that the Holy Spirit works exclusively through the guidelines of the Cross, and He cannot work outside of those guidelines (Rom. 8:2). This is the “how to” for a person to be delivered. Evil is all around us, and the only way that we can be delivered is by totally and completely placing our faith in Christ and Him crucified.
The Kingdom, Power, And Glory Belong To Him
In closing the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus said the following: “For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” He instructed His disciples to pray this as well.
This means that the kingdom does not belong to Satan, but rather belongs to Him. Satan attempted to take control of this kingdom away from God, and he has tried to wrestle away the power and the glory for himself. However, this kingdom does not belong to Satan, and neither will it ever belong to him. This kingdom belongs to God, and it will forever belong to God. As well, the power and the glory belong to God, and there is nothing that Satan can do to change that. Regardless of Satan’s endeavors, this one statement does, in fact, predict his demise. Forever means “forever,” and with the word amen that follows forever, this means that in the mind of God, Satan’s defeat is inevitable.
In closing, as we begin our prayers with praise and thanksgivings, we end our prayers with praise and thanksgivings. Use this model, for that is what this is—a model or skeleton—to daily seek the face of God for all things. God delights in our prayers, and He desires to show Himself strong in our lives. This is why prayer is such a vital part of our daily lives. I pray that this has helped you and will strengthen your prayer life. Prayer is something of which most Christians do not take advantage, and it will be to their demise. Pray and seek His face daily. Study His Word daily. Learn about who He is and what He has accomplished, for this will help you in your walk with the Lord.
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