The Lord's Prayer

By Robert J. Wieland




   As never before, I see cause for thanksgiving in the Lord's Prayer. Jesus taught us to pray (presumably every day!): "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil" (Mt 6:13). If the president had been praying that prayer from his heart every day, he could never have fallen into the trap that has engulfed him. "Fallen" is the right word; no one in his/her right mind could possibly choose the trauma and disgrace he is suffering. This was an inadvertent fall into something he now deeply regrets. Sudden temptation overwhelmed him; in carelessness he subjected himself to it against his better judgment.

   The Lord's Prayer is a prayer that Jesus taught everyone to pray; you don't need any special qualification or superior goodness to pray it, whoever you are. Everyone in the world can address His Father as "our Father," and look upon Him so. That's what Jesus came into the world-to teach us to regard His Father as our Father. Everyone can pray, "Hallowed be Thy name," and "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven." And everyone can pray, "Give us this day our daily bread" for we read in Ps 145:15, "The eyes of all wait upon Thee; and Thou . . . openest Thine hand and satisfiest the desire of every living thing." Even the birds depend on Him! So surely, we can also. And everyone can ask the Father to forgive us our sins. So, it follows logically, everyone, whether he is a church member or not, can ask the Heavenly Father to "lead [him] not into temptation, but to deliver [him] from evil [that is, sin]." "The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the Lord shall fall therein" (Pr 22:14). A "strange woman" is anyone who is not your wife; involvement is a fatal trap. But someone may ask, Doesn't God love everyone? How can it be that He "abhors" anyone? The answer is, He does love everyone; but He "abhors" arrogance and selfishness in anyone. It's Good News that you and I can ask Him to "deliver" us from that "evil," and He will.