Our intention with this issue of Glad Tidings, as with all, is enrichment in your understanding of our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus that inspires sharing the good news with others. Prayer is a vital part of our walk, so here is something to consider regarding the Lord’s Prayer.
The foundational prayer Jesus taught his disciples, recorded in Matthew 6 and Luke 11, is an everyday essential for godly living for within are all the crucial concerns we need. One phrase within the prayer that has bothered me over the years is “lead us not into temptation” for it seems on the surface to imply that God is an active agent in subjecting us to temptation. However, other Scriptures specifically deny such a notion.
Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
James authoritatively states that God does not tempt people with evil; yet, other Scriptures indicate that God does bring His people as He did Abraham and Christ into circumstances both fitted and designed to try them, or test the strength of their faith. Putting these two thoughts together, we must conclude that God can test or try us for our betterment though He does not tempt us to evil.
No one understood temptation as well as Jesus, since the devil tempted him by every avenue of approach to all kinds of sin, but without success. In the Garden of Gethsemane, according to Luke 22:40, Jesus said to Peter, James, and John: "Pray that ye enter not into temptation.” Jesus obviously believed prayer was necessary to avoid temptation in that he prayed for help in this and told others to do the same.
In the Lord’s Prayer (perhaps better titled the disciple’s prayer), the phrase “lead us not into temptation” is similar in understanding to what he said in the garden. This phrase translated from Greek is a "permissive imperative" term (my grammarian wife will be so proud of me). The idea is then: "Do not allow us to be led into temptation." As such, the meaning is not indicating that God leads us into temptation; rather, it implies He can lead us away from it. When we are tempted, (according to 1Corinthians 10:13) God always provides a way out. However, finding that way is often difficult and a terrible risk. Preventive prayer for God’s help in not allowing us to be led into temptation is a much better way.
Summer is a great time to be out and about witnessing the glorious gospel.