Hello, Amazing Tribelet of Mini-Women! Hannah here with the last post in our series about The Lord’s Prayer. You’ve been great about participating, by the way. Thank you, ASHER, AMARISE, EVE, GRACE, VANNA, and KAELYN for being so totally honest. ALL of you rock.
Now, on to that last line …
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Sounds serious. Or scary or creepy. Sounds like maybe something that would happen in a movie, not in real life.
(Malificent was always the creepiest to me. Totally what I think of when I think of evil!)
But Jesus was definitely talking about real life. And He knew that temptation and evil go hand in hand.
See, evil is smart. It knows that if it just came up to you and shoved the most evil thing in your face, you’d probably run off screaming in the other direction. Evil would never win that way.
So instead it sends temptation.
Temptation reminds you that sitting by yourself is lonely, and maybe you ought to just eat lunch with that group of iffy kids, who’ve been inviting you to their lunch table.
It reminds you that falling behind in school will make your parents mad or disappointed, and that you know you could get the answers for a test from one of your friends.
It reminds you that your little brother or sister ALWAYS goes into your room without asking and yelling at them is the only way to fix it.
Temptation is sneaky like that. It reminds us of we’re feeling right now (lonely without friends, stressed about grades, angry at your brother or sister) and tries to distract us from how much worse we’ll feel if we actually go through with it.
Jesus knew that we would be tempted sometimes to do the wrong thing. Even Jesus got tempted by hunger and loneliness. And being tempted isn’t wrong. It’s just good to have this prayer to remind us that God doesn’t just protect us from evil – He delivers us from it. He gets us OUT of that situation.
God makes a group of friendly people start noticing that you seem to be alone, and one of them reaches out to you. God helps you focus on your studying for your test, so you can get the best grade possible. God’ll make you think of a way to talk to your little sibling that can end with neither of you being mad anymore, maybe by taking them outside for a walk instead of talking in the house. (I don’t know about you, but I talk to people so much better outside, walking side by side. Just saying.)
There is no temptation out there that God doesn’t have answer for. He will always keep a side door open for you to run out. There is always another way to solve a problem you’re having.
Jesus also knew something about the disciples — something that we all do today: they were going to feel WAY guilty for having bad thoughts. Instead of realizing that those thoughts are temptations (temptations that they needed to PRAY away), they were just going to look at themselves as bad people. They would take themselves on a guilt trip, and who knows if they would ever come back!
That’s why He knew when we pray, we need to remember to ask God about our bad thoughts. About our temptations. And to ask Him to deliver us from them. We need to remember that we don’t walk ANYwhere in life alone, and God is always there to call on.
And Mini-Women, if you ever give in to temptation – look at what I just said. God is ALWAYS there to call on. Delivering us, saving us from evil is what He does. And we’re His kids, so He wants to help us. He wants us to pray for help.
So in your Talking to God journals this week, tell God what this section of the prayer makes you think of. What’s a temptation in your life that could lead to evil, and you want God’s help in making sure it never gets that far? Or if you’ve given in to temptation, talk to God about how you know He’s going to be faithful and deliver you from it.
And if you want to comment, if you want to share, tell us if there’s a temptation in your life that we can pray about for you. Or tell us about a time that God showed you a better way to solve a problem, instead of giving in and making a bad choice.
Love you mini-women! I’m so glad our God is a hero, who loves to deliver us!
NOTES FROM NANCY: (1) Mini-Makers drawings, stories, etc. due March 13. Email to me at this email addy. (2) Our next series, starting next Wednesday, is on FRIEND stuff. You won’t want to miss THAT!