I grew up saying the Lord's Prayer. I've said it so often that I to tend to rattle through the words. Many of us do, I suppose. In fact, I read that if I say the Lord’s Prayer as I wash my hands, I could skip out on the recommended 20-25 seconds of washing my hands.
Perhaps you have said it time and time again as well. But have you ever really considered what "delivering us from evil" truly means?
I considered that part of the prayer to be asking the Holy Spirit to steer me away from evil influences and the schemes of the devil. But had I ever truly experienced evil in my mid-American, Bible-Belt existence?
Then I went to a missionary conference and heard stories of those in persecution. Family members martyred or maimed because the missionary refused to renounce Jesus. Women raped and children sold into slavery as soldiers or for sexual entertainment.
Why? Because ”not everyone has faith.” It was true in the first century, and it is still true today. Missionaries need our prayers for protection. Every single day. Whether in the jungles of Africa, the hills of Turkey and Syria, or on the dark streets of major cities.
God has called and equipped missionaries to save souls. That's their purpose. He calls and equips us, who live in a land where religious freedom reigns, to lift them up in prayer. That’s our purpose.
Will you join me in praying for our brothers and sisters who face evil daily?
Father in Heaven, your Son taught us to pray the Lord’s prayer as an example. Help me savor each of the words, hallowing your name, praying for your kingdom to come, for your daily provisions, and to help me forgive others as you forgive me. But most of all, help me realize the prayer is in the plural. Let me pray daily for those who do face temptation, who find it hard to forgive those who seek to hurt them, and who face the actions of evil as they proclaim your saving grace and glory. Amen.
Go Deeper — Pray the Lord’s prayer and let the words soak in. Pray especially for those who face persecution.
Photo Credit: Nick Coleman