“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1
To respond to that question, Jesus then shared a model prayer that demonstrated a progression of perspectives that could and should change the way we pray today.
As Jesus closed out the prayer, He ends with this request, “And lead us not into temptation.” (Luke 11:4).
Temptation represents a real challenge to the life Jesus wants to build in our hearts. Here are a few observations from this verse that should impact how we pray:
#1 – It’s OK to talk to God about your temptations.
I don’t know if you’re like me, but sometimes I feel ashamed to admit to God what’s actually going on in my heart. I don’t want to tell him that I’ve been greedy or coveted my neighbor’s new car or haven’t been content with my own giftedness. It feels shameful to admit such things.
But shame does something devastating to a relationship:
It shuts down intimacy.
If we’re not willing to talk to God about the temptations that exist in our hearts, then we’ll have a hard time being intimate with Him.
This process of confession and acknowledgment is a healthy part of a life-giving relationship with Jesus!
#2 – The leadership of the Holy Spirit is pivotal and worth pleading for.
We’re all following someone and something.
Who and what you choose to follow may be the most significant decision you make in life because whatever you follow is leading you into the next step and season of life.
This is why it’s so important to be anchored in the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit.
If you’re like me, you’ve had friends that complain about their bosses. That’s a fairly common conversation. “My boss is the worst, because he __________.” You know how it goes.
Have you ever stopped to think that if you prayed about taking the job, then Jesus is your real boss? He led you there. He knew what you needed, the blessings and challenges you need (because we DO need challenges from time to time, don’t we?).
In this confession, Jesus acknowledges that He’s made the decision to follow the Father, and pleads with Him to make the path clear and free of temptation.
In confusing times, it’s necessary to lean into praying for God’s direction, because He desires to lead you.
His ways are better. Let’s follow Him.
* * * * *
What is a temptation that you need God to lead you out of?