How often do you pray that God would help you avoid trouble? I think that we can mess up simply by failing to pray this prayer. Jesus in His teaching on prayer encouraged His disciples to pray, “Lead me not into temptation.” I didn’t think too much of this until hearing Roger Stacy, one of my heroes in ministry, speak about this verse. He brought out the idea that by praying this prayer we are able to avoid needless temptation in our lives. It is easy to pray, “God, give me strength when tempted.” Maybe we should be praying to avoid the temptation in the first place. He is a couple benefits:
1. God has the power to help us avoid certain tempting situations.
Maybe there are situations that you can avoid by living a life of prayer. Paul encourages us to keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5). Maybe we can avoid certain opportunities to sin that way. In Luke 17 Jesus tells us that temptation will come, but He does say how much. I think I would like as little as possible please. Thank you very much!
2. It puts us in a right attitude about ourselves.
By praying and asking God to help me avoid temptation it reminds me of my own human frailty. One of the saying that we use at my house is, “There but for the grace of God go I.” We are all prone to make mistakes. That is why the story that Jesus tells about the Pharisee and the other man’s prayer is so powerful. The sinner’s prayer was, “Have mercy on me a sinner.” That simple prayer was heard because it was prayed with the right attitude. It is an attitude that all of us need.
Maybe a short prayer for you today and everyday is, “Lead me not into temptation.”
If you liked this you might also like: 5 Surprising Results of Not Praying