Closing prayer

The final topic that Jesus instructed us in prayer says And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil.  That sounds confusing, doesn't it?  Because elsewhere in Scripture, we are told that God doesn't tempt anyone (James 1:13).  Not just confusing, that sounds contradictory!!  Is it?

No, because Scripture doesn't contradict itself. Remember, the best commentary on Scripture is Scripture.   So let's unpack it in order to understand what we are to pray. 

A helpful amplification of the verse in translation might be something like this - "Lord, I am prone to sin and I know it.  But I don't want to!  So please don't answer any of my prayers in a way that would result in increased temptation to sin.  And, if you see fit to bring trials or temptations my way, I ask you for the grace that I need not to sin in them."

This phrase is an acknowledgement of our fallibility, our tendency to sin when temptations and trials come, and of Satan's desire to "sift us like wheat" (Luke 22:31)  It's like an admission of our need to pray so that we don't fall, such as Jesus exhorting the disciples in the hours before His death to watch and pray. (Matthew 26:41)  What an appropriate reminder to end our prayer time -- our need to depend on Him continuously and our inability to live life victoriously in our own strength.

The final phrase  For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever Amen  is like an exclamation point of worship on our prayers.  Let's end there today -- Hallelujah to His Name!