of Jesus" part 4
Deliver Us From Evil
Sunrise Wesleyan Church
November 8, 2009
Matthew 6:13 (NLT)
“And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.”
we’re finishing up our series this morning looking at the Lord’s Prayer
as it’s found in Matthew chapter 6. Read it with me…
Matthew 6:9-13 (NLT)
“Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in
Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have
forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.”
first week of this series, we looked at the first sentence. “Our Father
in heaven, may your name be kept holy.” And we saw how Jesus teaches us
that we can have an intimacy with God, with Him as our Father and us as
His children. Some people who have had a poor relationship or no
relationship with their father may have a difficult time understanding
this, but Jesus was talking about a healthy, pure Father/child
The second week, we moved on to “May your Kingdom
come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” And we
talked about praying for God’s Kingdom to be established and the expand
on this planet and how He can use us in answering that prayer. Plus we
talked about seeking God’s will to be done, not our own will. Prayer is
about us coming around to God’s way of thinking, not convincing Him to
come around to ours.
And then last week, we examined what Jesus
meant when He told us to pray, “Give us today the food we need, and
forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” And
what we came to understand is that God cares deeply for each of us, and
that He provides for our needs on a daily basis. He doesn’t bow to our
greeds, but He does care for our needs. So He takes care of our
physical needs, and He takes care of our spiritual need for
forgiveness. With the understanding that we will extend that same
forgiveness to others who have harmed or sinned against us.
that brings us to the final sentence of the prayer, “And don’t let us
yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” And that’s what
we’re going to explore today.
Now, many of you have this prayer
memorized, and if so you probably know it from the old King James
Version. And if that’s the case, then you probably think there’s
something missing here. What about the “For Thine is the Kingdom and
the power and the glory forever and ever”? Well, that ending wasn’t
part of the oldest manuscripts, but it was eventually used when the
prayer was recited and so it was kind of tagged on to the end of the
prayer. But it’s not part of this model prayer that Jesus taught, so
we’re not going to be looking at it as part of this series.
what you see on the screen is the entire model prayer that Jesus
taught. And as we’ve talked about, it wasn’t something that He meant
for us to repeat over and over again mindlessly; it was a model prayer
for us to learn from so it could enrich our own prayer lives. There are
no magic words, no secret formulas you have to learn. Prayer is simply
carrying on a conversation with God, and anybody can do it. And this
prayer… it’s just an example.
But I want you to notice
something. All through this prayer, Jesus uses words like “OUR Father,”
“Give US”, “Forgive US,” “Don’t let US yield to temptation”, “Rescue
US.” It’s always in the plural. It’s not about me, it’s about US. It’s
not about you, it’s about US. In fact, in your notes you can go through
the whole prayer and circle those words.
So what’s the point?
Well, I think Jesus is reminding us that we are not just isolated
individuals praying merely for our own private concerns. We are a
family! We’re a community!
“The very use of the plural precludes selfishness in prayer.”
~ William Barclay
does that mean you can’t pray for more personal desires, dreams, and
wants? No, of course not. And if you look at other prayers in the Bible
you’ll see that there were plenty of prayers for individuals. Jesus
prayed for Himself. Paul prayed about being delivered from some
affliction he was suffering. Peter prayed for guidance. David prayed
for personal forgiveness. Hannah prayed that she could have a baby.
Daniel prayed for understanding. Solomon prayed for wisdom. Sure you
can pray for your personal requests, but in this prayer that Jesus gave
as an example of how to pray, He spoke in the plural.
that basis, we’re going to talk this morning about what it means to
pray for “us.” What it means to pray for the Church. And the way to
pray for the Church is…
Do We Pray for The Church?
Pray for purity within the Church
Matthew 6:13 (NLT)
“And don’t let us yield to temptation…”
you have the Lord’s Prayer memorized, you probably know this as “And
lead us not into temptation…” But really, I don’t believe that was
translated very well. Let me tell you why.
If it’s translated as
“Lead us not into temptation”, who does that imply is responsible for
the temptations we face? God, right? I mean, if God leads us into
temptation then it’s His fault. And to counter that, we ask Him not to
But if you look in the book of James, James writes…
James 1:13-15 (NLT)
remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.”
God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.
God is not the source of temptation, He never leads us into temptation,
so He’s not responsible for temptation. So if that’s true, where does
temptation come from?
[ADD to verse 13]
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us
it’s not even Satan. Temptation comes from within. Satan may take that
temptation, magnify it, and use it to manipulate us. But it comes from
within. And when we give into it, the results are tragic.
[ADD to verse 14]
These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to
grow, it gives birth to death.
So that’s why I think it’s very appropriate for us to pray…
Matthew 6:13 (NLT)
“And don’t let us yield to temptation…”
think that’s something we can pray for ourselves personally, and I
think that’s something we need to pray for other Christ-followers, too.
For the entire community of believers. For the whole Church. That we
would remain pure.
Because remember what we talked about last
week. We looked at praying for God to forgive us for our sinfulness.
And if God forgives us washes that sin out of our lives, why would we
want to yield to temptation again and put ourselves right back in that
situation? We’ve just prayed for forgiveness, so Jesus tells us to pray
that we won’t create the need to repeat that prayer too often.
Secondly, if you’re going to pray for the Church, then we need to…
Pray for your local church and its leadership
all through the prayer Jesus uses words like “us” and “we” and “our.”
So we’re not just praying for ourselves; we’re praying for other
Christ-followers as well. And I believe that has to start with the
local church we are part of. As Bill Hybels says…
“The local church is the hope of the world.”
~ Bill Hybels
so we need to pray for our local church. In our case, that means
praying for Sunrise, for me as the pastor, and for all those who serve
in positions of leadership like our Leadership Team, our Worship Team,
and those heading up various ministries. Pray that we will be a healthy
church, unified, and effective at doing what we’ve been called to do.
of the letters in the New Testament was written by a brother of Jesus
named Jude. Just a short letter… one chapter consisting of 25 verses.
And Jude wrote this letter to address a problem that had crept into the
early Church. Apparently there were people who had infiltrated the
Church and were spreading false doctrines and were causing division.
And this is part of what he wrote…
Jude 1:19-21 (NLT)
people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow
their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.
you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith,
pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord
Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will
keep yourselves safe in God’s love.
So again, you see that we
need to be encouraging each other and praying for each other. Plus you
see the result of praying for each other… we will be kept safe in God’s
love and will receive eternal life.
If you read through the
letters of Paul in the New Testament, Paul was constantly talking about
praying for individual churches. And he was never shy about asking that
they would pray for him as one of the leaders in the Church. Like he
did in Ephesians 6…
Ephesians 6:19-20 (NLT)
And pray for me,
too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s
mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. … So
pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.
So as Paul asked the Ephesians to pray for him, I ask you to pray for
me and for all who serve in some level of leadership.
in praying for the local church, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pray
for other churches, too. We are a local church, but we’re only part of
the global Church, the family of God. So go ahead and pray for other
churches across our city and around the world.
Ephesians 6:18 (NLT)
in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be
persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
You’ll notice that in that verse it says to pray for all believers
everywhere. So in addition to praying for churches…
Pray for Christ-followers taking the message of Jesus around the world
In other words, pray for missionaries. First of all, pray that God will
call people to become missionaries. As Jesus said…
Luke 10:2 (NLT)
harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is
in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
support and pray for these missionaries as they prepare and set out.
That’s what the Church did for Paul and Barnabas in Acts 13…
Acts 13:2-3 (NLT)
day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit
said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have
called them.” So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their
hands on them and sent them on their way.
And third, pray for
the missionaries wherever they go as they spread the Good News about
Jesus. Paul made that request for himself. He wrote to the Christians
in Thessalonica and said…
2 Thessalonians 3:1 (NLT)
dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the
Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes,
just as when it came to you.
Now, our church sponsors a number
of missionaries, and some of you personally sponsor missionaries. Over
on the side wall, you see a map showing where some of those
missionaries are located, and there are some cards you can put up on
your mirror or on your fridge or wherever you need to put them to
remind you to pray. Go ahead and make use of them. Pray for
missionaries as they give so freely of themselves to spread the message
Okay, we do have one more thing we’re going to
talk about this morning. But I’ve also asked Rosita if she would take
any children in grades six and under and help them with a project. So
if you’re in grade six or younger, meet her at the back.
Okay, we just talked about praying for all believers everywhere. And I
believe in particular we need to…
Pray for Christ-followers living under persecution
is of particular significance today, because today is the International
Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Here in North America, we live
in relative freedom when it comes to our faith. Oh, there are people
who want to push all expressions of faith in God out of sight, and
there are pockets of persecution here and there, but really we’ve got
it pretty easy.
But that’s not true everywhere. There are places
around the world where you literally risk your life if you choose to be
a Christ-follower. Earlier this morning we remembered those who have
fought and the many who have died for our freedom. Well, the struggle
continues for those seeking the freedom to worship God.
[PowerPoint – Map showing hotspots of persecution]
the screen behind me, you see a map. All the areas in red are areas
that are actually hostile toward Christians and Christianity. There are
over 200 million believers living under persecution. And you and I have
the opportunity to join with them and to support them through prayer.
Jesus finished the model prayer with this request…
Matthew 6:13 (NLT)
“…Rescue us from the evil one.”
And there are plenty of Christ-followers who are enduring evil and do
need to be rescued from the evil one.
reason Rosita has taken the kids out this morning is that I want to
show you a video. And I didn’t think it was necessarily appropriate for
younger viewers. It’s not exactly “The Passion of the Christ”, but it
could still be disturbing. So I’m going to show you this video about
the persecuted Church, and the kids will be coming back in a bit later.
VIDEO – IDOP (4:04)
For more information and resources for the International Day of Prayer
for the Persecuted Church, visit IDOP.ca.
on this day, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church,
I want to encourage you to devote some time to praying for
Christ-followers around the world living under oppression. We just
can’t fathom here the courage it takes to proclaim your faith in Jesus
when it may cost you your freedom if not your life. And if you would
like some resources to help you know what to pray for, then you see a
website mentioned in your notes. You can check that out on your own.
Right now, as we finish this series on prayer, let us pray for the
we want to join together this morning in praying for the over 200
million Christians around the world being persecuted for their faith…
for those facing brutal brutality and hostility because of their
beliefs. While we only face it occasionally here in North America, we
know that there are those in other parts of the world who, because of
their faith in you, endure discrimination, intimidation, attacks,
fines, imprisonment, torture and possibly even death. That’s their
reality every day.
So we pray, Father, that you would strengthen
their resolve. Even in their hostile environment, may they know the joy
of living for You… the joy that You alone can give. In the face of
great oppression, may they enjoy that peace that goes beyond all
understanding. Give them courage. Let them know that they are not
alone… that You are with them, and that we are with them. That they are
in our prayers even now.
Thank You that Your grace is
sufficient. Let them experience that grace. And we ask, Lord, that You
would protect them. Keep them safe, according to Your will. And when
they do go through the fire of persecution, hold them close and keep
them faithful to You.
And Father, let us pray for their
persecutors as well. Reveal Yourself to them. May they come to
understand who You are. We ask that You use the very people being
persecuted to direct their persecutors toward You. We know what a
difference you can make in a life… how You change us from the inside
out. And what these persecutors need is a radical transformation
performed by Your Spirit. So we pray for that.
As one Church, as
Your Church, as the Church around the world we join together in prayer
this morning. Strengthen Your Church, empower Your Church, build Your
Church we pray. Amen.