Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13) so that they could begin their life of prayer with their focus upon God. But in this principle, He teaches them that prayer will also touch the deepest needs of the human heart. He is teaching the disciples that prayer is a response to the protection and the power of God.
An important principle of prayer is a realization of the triumphant nature of God. The disciple sees the victory that is in Jesus Christ over all of the forces of hell. In the secret chamber of prayer, the follower of Christ begins to experience the twofold victory of the
Lord. The first part of that victory stems from a clear view of God, who leads and shepherds His people. The second aspect of the triumph of the prayer warrior is his vision of the power of God to deliver His people from the forces of evil.
“Do not lead us into temptation” is a basic commitment of the Christian in prayer to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The Christian sees the Lord as his Shepherd. He knows that Christ is a Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd will not lead the sheep off a cliff! He will not lead the sheep into the pits of destruction. Therefore, the believer must commit himself to the leadership of the Good Shepherd. This is the point for the believer to commit his time, activities, and relationships to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
Good Shepherd, so often I have kept my time, activities and relationships to myself, refusing to submit them to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Forgive me and give me a desire to turn everything that I have been keeping to myself over to You for safekeeping and to release it all for Your use. Because You care for me, I trust that You will not lead me into the path of the enemy, but that You will deliver me from his attempts to destroy me or to use me for his evil purposes. Strengthen me and give me wisdom to stay far from his clutches so that I may stand firm for the sake of Your kingdom. You alone, O Lord, are holy, and only by staying attached to the Vine and following Your lead will I bear fruit for Your sake!
Praise the God who knows your sinful ways, but is still there to heal, guide, and comfort you (Isa. 57:18). Give thanks for God’s constant faithfulness. Confess any sinful deeds or thoughts that have remained unconfessed. Commit yourself to seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit every day. Ask him to walk close beside you today.
Pray for an opportunity in the next day to share your faith with someone who does not know Jesus. Ask God to give you courage and boldness in your witness.
“The church’s greatest deficiency today is in power—not in programs, strategies, materials, or ideas. And power for ministry can be released only through prayer.” — Anonymous
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.