“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13
The last part of the Lord’s Prayer is asking for Him to guide us in His ways and protect us from Satan. After this, there are no additional words or phrases. Most churches add a doxology that says something like, “for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever, amen.” Those words don’t change what Jesus originally said, and they’re offered in praise, not to overpower or add to (or take away from) the prayer itself. To be honest, they aren’t even necessary. But, they’re there.
What is necessary is to implore the Father to protect us from the evil one at all times. At all times and in all ways, Satan attacks us. He attacks our thoughts; he attacks our motivations; he misuses our feelings; he abuses our actions. In everything we do, Satan considers us vulnerable targets. He hates us. It’s a level of hatred we can’t understand, can’t change, can’t ameliorate. Because Satan hates God, he hates us more when we follow God.
Against this, on our own, we are defenseless. The devil has more power, cunning, and resources at his disposal than we do. As the saying goes, Satan is playing chess while we play checkers. He is several moves ahead of us, anticipating what we will think, say, or do and how he can use it against us. Make no mistake: independently, against this, we will fail.
Now, make no mistake about this, either: the devil is insignificant against God. Satan only does what the Lord permits him to do. Yes, that means God permits Satan to do quite a lot, but all of it is so that the Lord might demonstrate His unending love and mercy. At a time in history known only to the Father, God will end this history, end Satan’s involvement in it, and remake this world into the paradise He designed it to be. Believers in Jesus will spend their eternity with Him; non-believers won’t.
Until then, it becomes even more important for us to continually pray to the Father for His constant protection against the evil one. For Him to remove the evil one from our lives. The devil will misuse temptations and lead us into falling for his evil schemes. Some in our world think this is ridiculous, even childish. Maybe, though, that’s simply proof that Satan already controls them. They’re wrong. The better way – the only way – is to regularly go back to the Father and ask for His mercy right here, right now, in delivering us from the evil one.
For more reading: Matthew 6:14
Father, deliver me from the evil one and his lies today.