To say "lead us not into temptation" does not … mean that God himself causes people to be tempted. … First, it means "let us escape the great tribulation, the great testing, that is coming on all the world." [Second], it means "do not let us be led into temptation that we will be unable to bear." … Finally, it means "Enable us to pass safely through the testing of our faith."

N. T. Wright, The Lord and His Prayer

Many assure us that Jesus really means "keep us away from temptation," or "lead us out of temptation," or "remind us that you never tempt us." Of course none of these things is what Jesus actually said. He told us to beg God not to put us to a test, presumably because we would fail it. What a vote of confidence in us! What a vote of confidence in God! What a way to conclude a conversation!

Telford Work, Ain't Too Proud to Beg

[I]f we spend all our effort on our own white-knuckled struggle against a temptation, it grows bigger and bigger.

Glen H. Stassen, Living the Sermon on the Mount

The way we tinker with our temptations and tweak our reasons for acting on them are indications that we actually enjoy dancing the tango with the Devil.

Albert Haase, Living the Lord's Prayer

God has mercifully made the fantasies … so preposterously unrewarding that we are forced to turn to him for help and for mercy.

We seek wealth and find we've accumulated worthless pieces of paper. We seek security and find we've acquired the means to blow ourselves and our little earth to smithereens. We seek carnal indulgence only to find ourselves involved in the prevailing erotomania.

Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom

Evil that masquerades as an angel of light is commonplace. We need help. And we need help even when we don't know we need help. Especially when we don't know we need help.

Eugene H. Peterson, Tell It Slant

In praying to God to deliver us we acknowledge that God is greater than any foe of God. The power of evil must be admitted and taken seriously, yet not too seriously.

Perhaps that is why, though the Lord's Prayer honestly focuses upon trial, temptation, and evil, it never mentions Satan by name.

William H. Willimon and Stanley Hauerwas, Lord, Teach Us

We cannot offer this petition without being aware of how we ourselves might be contributing to the very evil (for others) that we pray to be delivered from ourselves.

Michael H. Crosby, The Prayer That Jesus Taught Us

There is no resistance to Satan other than flight. … Flee—that can indeed only mean, Flee to that place where you find protection and help, flee to the Crucified.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Creation and Fall/Temptation

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