“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13)
Have you ever turned your mind to heaven and whispered a prayer like, “Oh God, please let them be okay” or “God protect them” or “Please heal them?” Whispered prayers like these are prayers I have often prayed with great emotion. If I am honest, my prayers could have been simplified too, “please let no bad things happen to the ones I love or to me.” The line “deliver us from evil” feels similar to the prayers I just described. Not wanting bad things to happen is such a familiar thing to us. Why wouldn’t we want to avoid evil things if possible?
The truth is, sometimes tricky things in life help us to grow. Elsewhere in the scriptures, we learn that God uses challenging and painful things to help us grow. Does this prayer against the evil things prevent us from the growth that might come if we go through them? Perhaps, but the invitation that Jesus gives us is to pray against the evil anyway. Our dislike of evil in the world and our lives is not an unnatural feeling. Instead, it reminds us that the evil in the world is not what God intended for his creation. What about the growth, then? What about those moments when God teaches us through the pain of evil happenings?
When we pray this, we give our desire to a wise father who can figure out how and when to intervene in our lives to either protect or challenge us. We pray for transformation from evil to good. I believe God is wise enough to handle our prayers and know what to do with them for our and the world’s good.
Watch this video and reflect on how God can deliver people from evil things. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjLlLPZderk