If there was ever a time when people of this world needed to join forces to fight evil or the evil one, this is it. Evil is in the air and everywhere. At a time like this, we need someone far greater than ourselves. We need the God of love, the God of peace, and the God of healing by our side in this fight. We need to pray to God to deliver us from evil or the evil one.
One of the disciples of Jesus realized that it was never too late to learn. Apparently, he did not know how to pray or how to pray well and wanted Jesus to teach the disciples how to pray just as John the Baptist taught his disciples how to pray. And so Jesus taught them the prayer which has become known as the Lord’s Prayer or Our Father. (Luke 11:1-4). One advantage of the Lord’s Prayer over all other prayers is that it was taught by the Son of God, our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ, who knows what is best for us and the best way to present our petitions to the Father.
Over the years, many of us have learned to say the Lord’s Prayer without thinking much about some of the words and phrases. One such phrase is “… deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13 RSV). We say it without appreciating the seriousness of evil lurking around us and the need for us to seek God’s deliverance from it. If you are one of them, here is your opportunity to focus and reflect on the phrase, “deliver us from evil.”
Christ’s inclusion of this statement in the Lord’s Prayer implies a number of things:
1. Evil exists in this world. Mankind has known about the existence of evil since the days of Adam when God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:22 RSV). We may not be conscious of or experience it all the time, but evil or the evil one is there with all its diabolical force and power.
2. Evil is not good and must be avoided. Jesus knew that evil was not good for his disciples and he wanted them to pray to God for deliverance from it. Jesus wants us to do the same today. In simple terms, whatever is not good maybe evil and should be avoided.
3. Evil is important and must not be underestimated. Those who underestimate the power of evil or the evil one should note that Jesus thought it was important to be included in our requests to God in prayer. It is a recognition by Jesus that evil or the evil one is real and we ignore it at our own peril. The Apostle Paul will later paint a picture of evil or the evil one this way: “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV).
4. Christians are not immune from evil or the evil one. Jesus taught his own disciples the
Lord’s Prayer which included the request for God to deliver them from evil. The disciples were close and dear to him. He even called them friends (John 15:15). Yet, Jesus knew that evil would not leave them alone just because they were his friends or had a close relationship with him. Evil is no respecter of persons, especially those who are unguarded. That is why we need to pray for God’s mercy, grace, and deliverance from evil.
5. We should ask God to deliver us from evil. We should not take God’s protection and provisions for granted; we should ask for them. Asking God to deliver us from evil demonstrates our dependence on Him as well as our trust, faith, and belief in Him. We should pray and seek to dwell in the shelter of the Most High and rest in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1).
6. God has the power and will to deliver us from evil. When Jesus included, “deliver us from evil,” in the Lord’s Prayer, he was confident that God had (and still has) the power and will to deliver the disciples and his followers from evil. Certainly, the Creator of heaven and earth has the power and will to protect those who seek His protection and deliverance. This is evidenced by the question the Lord asked Abraham, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14 RSV).
Jesus raised the issue of evil in the context of prayer. That is why we cannot effectively protect ourselves from evil or the evil one without prayers. If Jesus himself prayed, and the disciples who were closer to him needed to pray, it would be unreasonable for us to think we can overcome evil or the evil one without prayers. The good news is that when we pray to God to deliver us from evil, we can say with confidence, as David did, that “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for thou art with me. (Psalm 23:4 RSV).
Prayer is the key. May God grant us the grace to seek Him daily through our prayers.
Dr. Daniel Gyebi, Attorney-at-Law, Texas, U.S.A., and Founder, PrayerHouse Ministry, Kumasi, Ghana.
PrayerHouse Ministry is dedicated to providing a quiet facility for Christians to pray individually by themselves without any intermediary priest, pastor or any other person. This is a free service. No money is demanded or accepted. One facility is located at Kyerekrom / Fumesua, near Building and Road Research Institute Offices, one mile off the Kumasi-Accra Road and next to a house called Grace Castle. If you are interested, please contact Agnes at 054-7498653. Another is located at Kantinkyiren, at the junction of Kantinkyiren and Konkori, off the Kumasi-Obuasi Road, branching left at Trede junction. Contact Kwadwo at 020-8768461 / 0246-989413.