“‘But deliver us from the evil one.’” – Matthew 6:13b
The Lord’s Prayer – Seventh Petition
Satan is the “evil one” that Jesus identifies in this petition of the Lord’s Prayer. He is the source of all the evil in this world which happens as a result of mankind’s fall into sin. That includes everything from destructive storms to devastating volcanoes, from bitter cold to blazing heat, from flash floods to disastrous droughts, from irritating insect bites to terminal illnesses, from verbal disputes to violent crimes, from minor injuries to fatal accidents, from job displeasures to job terminations, from family squabbles to family breakdowns, from everyday stress to nervous disorders, from all that does go wrong to all that could go wrong. Evil is all that plagues our bodies and shakes our souls. Evil is no respecter of persons; it comes to us all. As long as we live in this sinful world, evil will touch our lives often and sometimes in very bitter ways.
With hearts and lives wounded and scarred by the cutting edge of evil, we fervently pray in the concluding petition of the Lord’s Prayer for deliverance. Our heavenly Father is anxious to hear and answer this prayer. He delivers us from evil by either preventing it from happening to us or, if he allows it to touch our lives, making it work for our good. We cling to God’s sure promise recorded in Romans 8:28: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
It can be very disheartening to battle against Satan’s temptations and suffer the onslaught of his evil will while we wait here to enter heaven. Perhaps that’s why the early church concluded the Lord’s Prayer with a doxology: “For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever.” This reminds us that we are members of the Lord’s kingdom by faith in Christ. Satan cannot snatch us away from the One who loved us so much to die for us. Our Savior’s power will protect us, and we will someday share in his heavenly glory.
With a resounding “Amen,” we close this prayer in the confidence that our heavenly Father will answer all our petitions—that he help us to keep his name holy by obeying his Word and living according to his holy will, that his kingdom be firmly established in our hearts and be spread to others, that God’s power break the will of the devil, the world and our sinful flesh, that we receive all our physical blessings from God with a thankful heart, that God freely forgive our sins through Christ and teach us to have a forgiving spirit toward others, that he help us overcome Satan’s temptations, and that he rescue us from the evil we experience now and take us to heaven through a blessed death.