“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.” Luke 11:1-4 (NKJV)
The last thing Jesus is that we are to pray for spiritual strength against temptation and protection against evil. When we pray, “do not lead us into temptation” we are praying for God to guide us in the path of purity. In the 23rd Psalm we are told that the Lord is our Shepherd. Our Shepherd will lead us in the paths of righteousness for His name sake. Our Heavenly Father will lead us in the paths of righteousness so that He will be glorified by our holy living. We see here He wants us to ask Him to guide us along this path.
The petition “forgive us our sins” focuses on past sins, while this petition focuses on future sins. The previous focuses on actual sins, while this one focuses on potential sins. This prayer is prayed by those who not only have head knowledge of the reality of the sin around them. It is also prayed by those whose heart knows the devastation of sin in their lives. Let me give you two quick things here.
Pray specifically. All of us are tempted by sin in one way or another. We may not like to talk about this, but we know it. The thing is that we all know what we are tempted by. So rather than praying a generic prayer for God to help us not to yield to temptations, we need to pray, “God help me in this area. Help me not to give in to…” What we are doing is praying for God to help us make the right choices so that we don’t give in to those things that we are tempted by.
Pray to find the way to escape. One of the things we see in the Bible is that God has promised to give us a way out of every temptation.
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)
This doesn’t mean that God will necessarily remove every temptation out of our lives. What it does mean is that our Heavenly Father will protect us so that the temptation won’t overpower us. As the children of God we are promised that there is always a way out of the temptation. We never have to give in to it. What we have to do is look for the way of escape that God has promised us and then take it. The prayer for God help us in temptation is a time for us to pray and ask God to help us with whatever specific temptations we face and for Him to help us to see and take the way of escape that He promises to provide.