“And lead us not into temptation.” Lord’s Prayer, Sixth Petition
Since he first tempted Adam and Eve to doubt God’s word, saying “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’” (Gen 3:1b), the devil has continued to tempt man to doubt. We are assailed daily with the temptations of the devil, who tries to get us to doubt the promises of God . Even while we confess with our mouths that we believe in God and His saving grace, we continue to doubt in our hearts. Why else do we so easily fall into despair when things don’t go the way we want them to? We know that God “works all things for good” (Rom 8:28) and yet we feel lost and forsaken. Even though we know that Jesus took all of our sins on Himself when He suffered and died, the devil tempts us to take those sins back and to doubt God’s forgiveness.
But we are not alone in being tempted. Our heavenly Father, who gives all good gifts, even allowed His Son to be tempted by Satan in the wilderness. The devil tried to tempt Jesus to put physical comforts ahead of the Word of God and to seek worldly glory instead of worshipping God (Matt 4:1-11). But Jesus did not succumb to the devil. The perfect Son of God, true God and true man, fulfilled the law on our behalf. He was “obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Php 2:8).
In this petition we pray that God would help us to follow Jesus’ example and not succumb to temptations of the devil, the world and our sinful flesh. Especially we pray that God would keep us in the one true, saving faith, holding fast to His promise of forgiveness, life and salvation.
Dear heavenly Father, You did not spare Your only Son, sending Him to earth to take on the form of a man, to be tempted by the devil and to suffer and die for us. Help us to resist the temptation to doubt Your word and promises, for You are faithful and will raise us on the last day to eternal life with You. Amen.