Matthew 6:13 (ESV)Here Jesus asks us to pray that our Father not lead us into temptation. However, this is exactly what the Holy Spirit did to Jesus at the beginning of His ministry.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Matthew 4:1 (ESV)We also know that we are going to be tempted throughout the day. Just turn on the TV, listen to the radio, walk out the front door and you are faced with temptation. We live in a fallen world with temptation at every turn. What does it mean to ask God not to lead us into temptation? Even if we were to move into the desert we could never evade the temptations in our own minds.
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
There are avoidable temptations. Maybe this prayer is for God to help keep us from walking down the slippery slope of temptations that we could and should avoid.
We don't have to watch those TV programs or movies that put impure thoughts in our heads, ready to pop out when we least expect it. We don't have to let ourselves dwell on thoughts of envy, anger, or lust but we do.
The second half of this verse is a prayer for our Father to carry us through the temptations we do face. These are temptations from the evil in our own hearts and temptations from Satan himself.
This part of the Lord's prayer is a great reminder that we cannot face the temptations of this world alone. We are promised that we will not face any temptation that is beyond our ability. However, we are are also taught that we must wear the full armor of God to resist the schemes of the devil. We can never be so cavalier as to think we can resist the evil in this world on our own.
Jesus added this last verse because evil is real, Satan is real, and we need our Father's protection.
P.S. Are you protecting your own children?