Lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
The things we are taught to seek or avoid in prayer, we should equally pursue or avoid in action. We should with sincerity avoid temptation, seeking to walk so guardedly in the path of obedience that we may never tempt the devil to tempt us. We are not to enter the jungle in search of the lion. We might pay dearly for such presumption. This lion may cross our path or leap upon us from the jungle, but we have nothing to do with hunting him. He that meets with him, even though he wins the day, will find it a tough struggle.
Let the Christian pray that he may be spared the encounter. Our Savior, who had experience of what temptation meant, thus earnestly admonished His disciples, “Pray that you do not enter into temptation.” But let us do as we will, we shall be tempted; hence the prayer, “deliver us from evil.” God had one Son without sin; but He has no son without temptation. The natural man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward, and just as certain the Christian man is born to temptation. We must be always on our watch against Satan because, like a thief, he gives no intimation of his approach.
Believers who have had experience of the ways of Satan know that there are certain seasons when he will most probably make an attack, just as at certain seasons bleak winds may be expected; thus the Christian is put on a double guard by fear of danger, and the danger is averted by preparing to meet it. Prevention is better than cure: It is better to be so well armed that the devil will not attack you than to endure the perils of the fight even though you come off a conqueror. Pray this evening first that you may not be tempted, and then if temptation be permitted, pray that you may be delivered from the evil one.
Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg