Deliver us from evil - What does this mean?
Webster defines deliver as "to set free or liberate; to release or save." Thus, "deliver us from evil" means we are asking to be freed or saved from evil.
Evil is anything that tempts us to do something which is against God's will. It is anything that would sadden or displease God if we were to follow our own desires instead of His will. Some translations say, "deliver me from temptation to do evil" or "deliver us from the evil one."
"When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed" (James 1:13-14).
Deliver us from evil simply means, "God, help me because I can't do this on my own. I am weak and vulnerable to temptation. Please, Father, put a hedge of protection around me and keep me safe from the evil one's influence. Father, keep Satan in his place and don't allow him to attack me and bombard me with things that draw me too close to the edge and allow me to fall. Father, keep me strong and focused on you!"
In this life, we will never be free from the presence of evil. Until we arrive in Heaven, we will be tainted by sin and evil. Until God creates the New Heavens and New Earth, this world will be filled with evil. Praying "deliver us from evil" is a plea for protection from evil and victory over sin - not a request to be rescued from the very presence of evil. That will have to wait until Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:55-56).
Learn More about the Lord's Prayer!
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