“Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.  All glory to him who alone is God, our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord.  All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.”

Jude 24-25

 

Brenda reflects on the challenges and evils we face daily, and the sure promise of God’s protection, comfort and encouragement:

‘Deliver us from evil.’

Jesus gave these words to his disciples when they asked him for guidance about prayer.  But isn’t it a rather disloyal request to ask of our loving Heavenly Father, who has promised to protect us at all times, to ‘deliver us from evil’?  Surely any loving father would automatically protect his child from evil situations?

So, let’s think about this request, and, we’ll see that it’s not as simple as it seems.  Because, the truth is that, sadly, we live in a world where there is a lot of corruption and selfishness.  Therefore, this request for God to ‘deliver us from evil’ is absolutely vital for us to ask for continually, and, to hold on to.

When I stop and think about my daily life, I see myself travelling, day after day, on an unknown route, with no map or guidance, on a journey through a jungle.  There are large green areas, trees of various sizes and, from time to time, there are areas of rough or dry sandy plots.  As I travel, I come across different animals – lions, tigers, elephants, wolves, and others that just stare at me, not to mention those that crawl silently through the grass – snakes and other well camouflaged creatures.  All of a sudden, I'm surrounded by them and at their mercy.

 Lost, bewildered, and very afraid, I seek help, a friendly voice, comfort and encouragement, and someone to rescue me.  I cry out, ‘Deliver me from this evil.’ Because God loves us, and knows our every need and circumstance, he taught us to pray exactly this, and emphatically. 

But just as importantly, it’s so encouraging for us to know that this petition can be answered positively.  Our Lord is not one to indulge in double-talk.  He would not teach us to ask for deliverance if no deliverance was available.  Just as a caring and concerned parent has the desire to protect and guide their children, to help them deal with situations they encounter, and gradually to see them mature and grow up to be strong, complete people, so it is with our Heavenly Father!  

He guides and encourages us; when we fall, he picks us up and points us in the right direction, never leaving us to cope on our own.  It is he who enables us daily to grow in skills, ability and knowledge.  Though we might feel, at times, surrounded or overcome, our Father is there – responsive, ready and eager to extend His hand to help the instant we need it.

Are we really surprised, then, that our Lord includes this petition in this prayer, ‘Father, deliver us from evil’?  Never forget that, out of what seems to be evil, God our Father can and does bring good to His children.

 

Questions

What are the things you encounter in life which cause you to feel ‘lost, bewildered, or afraid’?

What ‘evils’ of our time is God encouraging you to pray and stand against?

Do you daily commit your way to God, seeking his guidance and protection, for you and your loved ones?

Prayer

Loving Father, strengthen the weak, comfort the bewildered, guide the lost and beat down Satan under our feet.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer for five friends

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.