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.

Even today, we don't have to go too far to see mindless violence and innocent lives being taken away.

Why? Because ”not everyone has faith.” It was true in the first century, and it is still true today. Missionaries, our brothers and sisters around the world, need our prayers for protection. Every single day. Whether in the jungles, the mountains, or on the dark streets of major cities, we can uphold each other in prayer.

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.

Today's Challenge: Pray the Lord’s prayer and let the words soak in. Pray especially for those who face persecution.

Tags: 2 Thessalonians 3 The Lord's Prayer Prayer community