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But Deliver Us From Evil

Rowan Williams once said, “If somebody said, give me a summary of Christian faith on the back of an envelope, the best thing to do would be to write Our Lord’s Prayer.” (Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury) If there is one phrase in the Lord ’s Prayer that provides a synopsis of the Bible’s story, it is the final petition, “deliver us from evil.” At its most basic level, the Bible tells the story God’s deliverance.

In the New Testament, we see the story’s climax. Jesus is the deliverer. That was the purpose of His coming. Through His death and resurrection, He conquered sin and set us free. We are no longer under the “dominion of sin” (Romans 6). We now serve a new master, Christ. While Jesus set us free from the power of sin (it no longer rules over us), the presence of sin still remains.

One day, Jesus will return to complete His work of deliverance (Revelation 20:10). On that day, sin will be no more. Until that time, there is still a spiritual battle to fight. Paul, in Ephesians 6, adopts militaristic language to describe this spiritual conflict, “Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:11-12)

This is why we ask God to “deliver us from evil” in the Lord’s Prayer. We need God’s help. We cannot save ourselves. So, we call out to God for rescue and deliverance from evil.

Remember that many struggles are spiritual. This is not obvious because the spiritual forces of evil are not observable. Yet, those forces are very real; they are at work beneath the surface. So when conflict comes, consider interpreting it through a spiritual lens. In those tough moments, remember to ask God’s to “deliver us from evil,” for He is mighty and strong to save.
The Rev. Alex D. Graham III
Associate for Children and Family Ministries
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