Luke 11 v 4. “And lead us not into temptation.”
Sounds strange, doesn’t it, to think of God as “leading us into temptation”. Does God do that? No! This is not what Jesus means. In praying for our sins to be forgiven we take a look at the past, what we have done! But we know how weak we are and how prone to sin, so we look at the future and pray that God may preserve us from temptation. We ask him to keep us from falling. The words mean “to keep us clear of temptation”, or “do not allow us to fail in the moment of trial”.
All this is to remind us that when we pray we pray as weak and frail human beings whose nature is always to wander away from God. God Himself, our Father, knows better than we do the power of the devil who seeks always the downfall of the believer. We live our lives incessantly harassed by this enemy so that it would be a very arrogant Christian, to say the least, who did not feel the need for God’s help in a conscious way and on a daily basis.
However, strange as it may seem, and sad to relate, there are those who sometimes join the Christian community and seem to be unaware of the need for constant humility. We have all had close encounters with people who claim to be Christians, but whose bearing is arrogant, proud, and self-righteous. And because they believe they know everything they are quite unteachable. Let us not follow them, admire them or seek to be like them. Rather let us walk in great humility before God, always remembering that those that think they are standing fast may easily fall, if God does not protect us.
So let us take heed of this petition and include it often in our prayers “… and lead us not into temptation”.