PRAYING FOR RELIANCE
Prayer acknowledges we must rely on God in all things. The Lord teaches us four primary prayer requests: Give, Forgive, Lead, and Deliver. All four require we rely on the Lord in particular ways. The prayer for deliverance from temptation is connected to our previous prayer for forgiveness.
We ask for help in our daily battle with sin and temptation. We need God’s guidance in life. We are sheep that need a good Shepherd. Sheep often wander off and place themselves in danger’s way. Our prayer requests God’s direction. Jesus reminds us we need to ask for guidance. We rely on the Lord for direction to avoid the pitfalls and find a pathway that avoids obstacles that will trip us up.
Jesus instructs us to pray about trusting the Lord in the greatest battle we will ever face—the battle of temptation of the flesh. We must pray for God’s leadership and direction because our hearts are inclined to sin. The human heart is exceedingly wicked. If you doubt that read Jeremiah 17:9-10. The great hymn says it this way – Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Take my heart Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.
We have fallen natures that have been redeemed and are being redeemed. We can all identify with the Apostle Paul in Romans 7. Temptation is merely an outgrowth of who we are by nature, and that is why it is so often so hard for us to resist. The heart of the problem is a problem in our heart (Matt. 15:17-20). Temptation in and of itself is not a sin. But, the very instant that temptation is embraced and pursued it results in sin.
Temptations are trials for our faith to be proven genuine. God never leads us into direct contact with sin, but as we travel the path of life, every crossroad along the way brings with it the option to take a path which leads us away from the Lord’s will for our lives. We have previously prayed “Thy Will Be Done.” Our Lord has given us some precious promises that serve to strengthen us during our temptations and guarantees us the victory over them. Read 1 Corinthians 10:13 and Romans 6:6-18. Present yourself as a slave of righteousness unto holiness in your time of prayer.
Temptation may be a powerful foe, but it is not in the same league as our Savior! God assures victory to all who trust Him for it! You do not have to fall into sin! God will lead us through the trials but not into temptation. He will allow our faith to be refined and desires that it be proven genuine. He desires that our faith grow and mature and withstand these temptations, not in our strength, but in the power of the Spirit and the Word.
Pastor Chris Thompson