O LORD, LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION
In Mathew chapter 6 verse 13, Jesus concludes the lesson in prayer for His disciples with these words;
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. - Mathew 6 verse 13.
Many people have asked whether this means that God tempts His people and if we need to pray for God not to tempt us.
However, a more careful reading of that verse would account for the word 'lead' which implies instead that God will guide (lead) our steps to places and situations where we could be tempted rather than He himself tempting us.
The Lord could let a situation arise where for example, we were in a position of authority and were offered a bribe. The temptation to take the bribe is not from God but the situation was permitted by Him so that we can demonstrate mastery over the particular form of temptation.
If we fare well in this temptation, we are candidates in God's Kingdom to be trusted with finances and weightier matters.
When we are asking God not to lead us into temptation, we are at the same time saying, 'not our will but the will of God be done."
This is roughly parallel to the narrative where Jesus is praying in the garden of Gethsemane and He asked His Father if there was a way to avoid the cup of the cross but not His will but rather the will of the Father be done.
If the Lord brings us to points of temptation in our lives, he always provides a way out of it as indicated in 1 Corinthians 10 verse 13.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.
And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.
But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Our Lord, lead us not into temptation but not our will but yours.
Our God, deliver us from evil.