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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

The Sixth Petition

Traditional: And lead us not into temptation.

Contemporary: Save us from the time of trial.

And the Spirit immediately drove (Jesus) out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tested by Satan, and he was with the wild beasts, and the angels waited on him. ~ Mark 1:12-13

What is meant by this Petition? Answer. God indeed tempts no one to sin; but we pray in this petition that God would so guard and preserve us that the devil, the world, and our own flesh may not deceive us, nor lead us into error and unbelief, despair, and other great and shameful sins; and that, though we may be thus tempted, we may nevertheless finally prevail and gain the victory

I'm not going to lie.

I've never been a fan of the traditional form of this petition. In fact, most time, I tend to pray the contemporary form of the Lord's Prayer for this reason, because...really...does God tempt us? Or at least, does God lead us there?

I definitely see God as one who saves, not as one who tempts!

Either way, however, there is no denying that there is evil in the world, and that evil often tempts us or causes us pain and suffering. Luther used language that we might not use so much today - the devil, the world, our own flesh. But I think we can agree that however you describe it, there are things in the world that deceive us, mislead us, and can lead us to turn from God.

There are trials in the world that can lead us to despair.

And yet over and over we see in scripture stories of faithful people who faced trials and temptations and were able with God's help to overcome them: Job, who was tempted in his suffering to curse God; Daniel who faced the lion's den; Paul, who over and over was beaten and imprisoned and yet still proclaimed the love of Christ; and even Jesus himself.

We can count on suffering. We can count on being tempted and facing trials in our lives. We'd like to believe that they won't come, but we know they will.

And so we pray as Job, as Daniel, as Paul to be delivered. And we know that we follow one who went before us paving the way for us to find salvation beyond those trials.

A Prayer by Martin Luther: Dearest God and Lord, strengthen and uphold us in your pure, precious Word through Jesus Christ our Lord, and help us to show and live our thanks with our fruits of faith to your praise and thanks forever. Amen.

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