Every day, we are fighting a spiritual battle. That’s why Jesus instructed us to pray,
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (Matthew 6:13)
We’re living in an evil world, in which the prince of darkness dwells. And he is hostile to us. He will do anything to bring us down from within or without.
From within, he tries to get us to fall to our own sinful nature, to give into the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
And so we are to pray that God would lead us. That we would keep our eyes on him, following him, rather than our own sinful nature. Everyone knows their weak points. And to some degree, it’s good to be aware of them. To avoid doing things that would bring you to the point of temptation. But if we spend all our time focusing on what we shouldn’t be doing, chances are that the temptation will only grow.
If on the other hand, we keep our eyes on God, we’re much more likely to avoid temptation. It’s not enough to just avoid sin. We need to follow God.
But beyond temptations, Satan wants to hurt us. He will attack us, and many times he’ll use the broken people of this world to hurt us. Other times, he’ll whisper his lies into our mind, saying things like, “You’re no good. God can’t love you. You messed up too badly this time. He can’t forgive you.”
So Jesus tells us to pray, “Deliver us from the evil one.”
We are in a war against an enemy that hates us. So let us remember the words of Peter, who said,
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (I Peter 5:8)
And let us pray that God in his grace would limit his influence on our lives.