Friday

But deliver us from evil.



Headlines holler about horrific crimes, terrible injustices, and religious persecution in many parts of the world. Clearly, evil still rears its angry head around the earth.

Perils are plenty. But prayer is powerful. Rather, the One who hears our prayer is all-powerful.

Do we dare danger? Do we stand and sneer at sinister sorts? Or do we take every fear, doubt, and terror to the One who holds the future?

Pat answers don’t work. But God still listens and answers. He still holds our lives in His holy hands. And He calls us to carry our concerns to Him.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
    so why should I tremble?

(Psalm 27:1, NLT)

In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed.
In Your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
Incline Your ear to me and save me.
Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come;
You have given commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress.
Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked,
Out of the grasp of the wrongdoer and ruthless man,
For You are my hope;
O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth.
(Psalm 71:1-5, NASB)

What should we say then? Since God is on our side, who can be against us? God did not spare his own Son. He gave him up for us all. Then won’t he also freely give us everything else? (Romans 8:31-32, NIrV)

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

(Ephesians 6:12-13, NIV)

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7, NIV)


Sometimes I wish the trumpets would sound right away, heralding the end of the age and the calling of believers to meet the Lord in glory. What a day that will be, beyond all our imaginings.

Still, at the same time, I want to beg the Lord for a bit more time, so those we love can turn to Him as well.

Deliver us from evil, Lord. Deliver us ALL.

Draw us out of ourselves and into Your ever-strong arms of mercy. Pluck those we love from the clutches of evil in all its forms: addiction, deceit, greed, hatred, lust, pride, rage, revenge, and more.

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Saturday

And lead us not into temptation.



We seem to pray for God’s protection pretty often. We holler for help when we are afraid of sudden dangers, worried about possible dangers, or stressing about horrors that may or may not happen to us.
  • What if a driver pulls out in front of us suddenly – or slams on the breaks without warning?
  • Maybe we pray when we wait for medical test results, identifying or ruling out a scary disease.
  • How about if a teen doesn’t show up at the appointed curfew, late at night?
  • We might ask for God’s help, if a noisy dog runs across the path, while we’re out walking alone.

Certainly, we pray for divine assistance when we find ourselves in a scary area of town, surrounded by sinister looking strangers.

But what about temptation?

Do we ever forget how dangerous temptation can be? I know I do – all too often.

What is so dangerous about temptation?

For anyone seeking to follow Christ and live under God’s blessing, isn’t temptation sort of like a fork in the road? Doesn’t it present us with the option of going God’s way or another?

What is the result of such a decision? And what if we miss this alarm, while we still have a chance to make another choice?

Jesus prayed, “Lead us not into temptation.”

OK, we know He did not succumb to it. But He surely knew we’d fight such battles. So He modeled the prayer.

How we need supernatural protection, strength, and power to resist temptation at every turn.

Temptations may start with things that are not inherently evil, but become harmful by overdoing. What temptations taunt you the most? What are the toughest desires to control?

Maybe it’s food overindulgence, drinking to excess, gossip, illicit sex, overspending, a chemical addiction, or something else.

He is able. We just gotta ask – and hold on for the answer. Nope, it’s never easy. But He is there.

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41, NIV)

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13, NIV)

“For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” (Hebrews 2:18, NASB)

“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:14, NLT)

Guard us, God. Lead us not into temptation, and keep us safe when we wander too close to the edge on our own.

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As we forgive our debtors.




Forgiving debts or trespasses, erasing iniquity, removing sin – only divine grace can make this possible. It takes a holy God, a sinless Son, and a never-ending fountain of pure love.

Jesus modeled this in His perfect prayer. He demonstrated and declared that we should ask God to forgive us as we forgive others.

Can anyone meet that standard?


Are any besides the Lord capable of fully forgiving others, as much as we need full forgiveness? Do any of us let go completely of all wrongs (real or perceived) and release those who have wronged us into the judgment, care, and hands of the Righteous One?

What if our own redemption (offered freely from God) fully depended upon our ability to forgive others 100 percent of the time? What if God waited for us to blot out our own mental records of others’ transgressions against us before He offered his mercy to us?

Who could stand?

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Matthew 6:14-15, KJV

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Matthew 18:21-22, KJV

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Mark 11:25, KJV

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Luke 6:36-38, KJV

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:32, KJV

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Colossians 3:13-14, KJV

Full forgiveness is a tall order.

Oh, Lord. Forgive us for our non-forgiveness. Help us to forgive, even as we have been forgiven. Remind us how much we have been forgiven – and how our own sins You have forgotten.

Pretty sure that’s where it begins.

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Friday

And forgive us our debts.






How is a debt marked? Maybe it’s an IOU, a loan document, a marker, or a payment book. Perhaps an item of value is held as collateral.

Sometimes a debtor signs a promissory note.

But what happens when a debt is canceled? How about when an important obligation is paid in full? The lien is destroyed. The mortgage papers are burned.

When I think about what Jesus did for me, covering the cost of my sin and purchasing my everlasting redemption, I think maybe my whole life ought to look like a promissory note. The debt is paid, but my attitude should demonstrate the gratitude He merits.

Often, that response is way past due.

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. 
When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
Psalm 32:1-5, KJV

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
Psalm 51:1-4, KJV

If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
Psalm 13:3-4, KJV

What mercy, love, and grace from our great God.

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