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Let’s read what is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer found in Luke 11:1-4 – “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread.  And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”

Although this prayer is often called the Lord’s Prayer, it might be better to refer to it as the Disciples’ Prayer.  In actuality, the Lord Jesus would never pray this prayer.  Why not?  Well, in verse 4 it says, “Forgive us our sins.”  The Lord Jesus had no sins and so would have never had to pray such a prayer.  This prayer was given in response to a request by one of the disciples.  He wanted to know how to pray properly.  Matthew 6:1-13 also gives us this prayer.  From there we see that there were those who used prayers hypocritically.  The Lord warned his disciples of this and gave them, and us, this example of a proper prayer.  I often hear this prayer repeated at important events, sometimes at funerals.  However, as the Lord warned against people using “vain repetitions” in their prayers in Matthew 6:7, even this prayer can become vain if we just repeat it with no thought as to what it means.  Rather than a prayer that should be repeated, it seems the Lord gave this prayer as a proper model for our prayers.

Let’s look at this prayer again and see if we can see how it is to be used as an example for us in our prayers:

This prayer begins with an acknowledgement of our relationship with the Lord: Our Father which art in heaven,

It then includes worship: Hallowed be thy name.

It expresses our desire for the Lord’s will: Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

Then our requests are made to the Lord: Give us day by day our daily bread.

We should always confess our sins: And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.

And our dependence on the Lord is expressed: And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

This prayer is a brief overview of a proper prayer.  Scripture has much more to say about prayer throughout its pages.

Your question asked about the expression, “lead us not into temptation.”  What does that mean?  That’s an interesting question because we know the Lord will never tempt us to sin, as we read in James 1:13, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.”  We also know that any trial that the Lord brings us into is for our own good, as we read in James 1:2-3 – “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”  1 Peter 1:7 tells us that the trial of our faith is “much more precious than of gold.”

So, if the trials that the Lord brings us into are for our own good, and He will never tempt us to sin, then why does He instruct us to pray that he would not lead us into temptation or trial?  It seems to indicate to us that we need to remain humble in the Lord’s sight and dependent on His strength.  It would be too easy to just say, “Lord bring it on!  I’m ready for trials.  I’m ready to go through hard times.”  So, realizing our own weaknesses, we should humbly ask the Lord to keep us from trials.  I appreciate the words of a Christian writer of days gone by.  He said, “The heart, knowing its own weakness spreads its desire before the Lord; it feels the need of being kept, not of being put to the proof.” (WK – Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)