“Lead Me Not Into Temptation”
So Jesus is giving his followers this template / model prayer. What would eventually be known in Church History as the Lords Prayer. “Our Father who art in Heaven hallowed be thy name … “ The first time I remember hearing this prayer was as a child, with my mother, at an anonymous support group. It’s probably the first piece of biblical writing I ever memorized.
Towards the end of the prayer there’s a piece where Jesus says, “and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil (or the evil one in some translations).
And as simple and pragmatic as the line is. a sort of “Hey Lord, if you could help me avoid tempting situations or withstand the temptations when they come, that would be great.” Is how i grew up understanding the phrase.
It’s interesting to me that immediately after Jesus receives the affirmation by his father during his baptism this happens.
Matt 4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him
I wonder as Jesus is modeling this prayer for his followers if there’s not a bit of intentionality in the wording “lead us not”. Like maybe he’s urging believers to petition God for the grace to avoid a situation that echoes his own.
Temptation, I believe, is not just fleshly inklings to do "bad things" it is being lead away from the intimate, affirming, presence of God and into isolation .