GOD’S WORD IS A SOLUTION TO PROBLEMS (continued)
“As we forgive those who sin against us.”
When we set others free from their bondage of sins committed against us, we too are set free from the danger of falling into similar traps. (Matt.18: 21-35). The wrathful face is clouded with vapor that prevents the sight from functioning perfectly. When we forgive, the wrath leaves and the vapor is cleared from our face, then we can see clearly to avoid dangers and evils in our own paths. Forgiving others is a solution to many illnesses, misfortunes, relational problems, and many other self-inflicted trials in our lives. “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” James 5:15
“And Lead Us Not Into Temptation”
God would not permit His own to be tempted beyond his/her capability to reject the temptation. (Psalm 141: 4; 1Corinthians 10:13; James 1:13). No one is tempted for his own sake alone, but for the sake of several others as well, that all may benefit from the experience. Selective testing of materials helps to prove the durability of those materials, to know how well they can stand shock treatments.
This prayer says in effect, “Do not permit us to be tempted.” Temptations test our virtue. (It is different from suffering – which we have been told would happen to us 2Tim.3: 12). Jesus said to Apostle Peter, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31, 32).
This is the solution to the problem of pride in us. If we have never failed before, we would not understand the condition of those who fail – daily. (Gal.6: 1-3). It is one thing to have failed, but it is quite another to learn the lessons that failure brings. Those who chose to be righteous would have lessons to learn from every failure, and would not go about boasting of their strength. Our strength is in recognizing how weak we can be when put under the test.
“But Deliver Us From Evil”
Evil is plenty – like weed, and like insects. We need to pick and chose our steps to make sure we do not land into evil. When we fall into the hands of the “evil one,” it is difficult, if not outright impossible, to escape by our own strength. We shall need HELP. Since no one can “digest” evil, it will need to be “pumped” out by deliverance through the power of the Holy Spirit. Evil is moral and spiritual poison. Evil is oppressive, and can sometimes capture our minds and thoughts.(Luke 11:20-22).
Jesus gave an illustration of this phenomenon when he said, “But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils.” (Luke 11:20,21).
Anyone who has ever been overcome by the demons of habits, such as drug-taking, or cigarette-smoking, drinking in excess, or sexual indulgence, knows very well how difficult, if not impossible, it is to kick these habits. These are the evils we need to be delivered from, by His Hands.
This prayer is a solution, and the means of escape, from all the mysterious things that afflict us knowingly or unknowingly. When the “Devil entered into Judas,” he would have been delivered had he appealed to Jesus Christ for HELP. (John 13: 27).
“For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, for ever. Amen.”
While some church traditions may contend that this is a later addition to the prayer, nevertheless, it is a fitting doxology which makes all the earlier petitions genuine and divinely directed. All Kings are mere pretenders, and all kingdoms are transient, compared with God’s eternal Kingdom. All rulership, all authority and all glory (or praises) belong rightfully to God. This is very relevant because it is to God’s Kingdom that we should all belong. All creations have Him for King and Ruler. His laws guide and promote the lives of all beings. It is also by God’s power that we live on this earth, and we stand free from Satan’s rule and reign.
These petitions are made as to a King to whose Kingdom we belong. They are also made to One whom we have taken as our Father, by our expression of faith in His Son. If a King denies us our requests, surely a Father would hardly deny us. God is more to us as a Father than a King whose relationship may be distant as we are obscured from His presence and influence.
This sentence of praise is connected to the Prayers by the word, “For,” to signify that the granting of these petitions will manifest all these things –the coming of the Reign of God, the Revelation of the power of God, and the great Glory of God –. God’s Kingdom is coming, has come, and is yet to come!!! “Behold, the kingdom of God is within you. “(Luke 17:21).
May His Kingdom Come for us and through us. AMEN.
About the writer
Nigerian-born Bishop Jacob Afolabi is Senior Pastor at the Christ Chapel Bible Church in Ottawa. he is the recipient of many community awards, including the 2017 Black History Ottawa Community Builder award, for his many years of community work. He is the founder of the Ottawa Pastors’ forum and has contributed inspiring articles in community newspapers and commentary on community radio stations, as well training a new generation of pastors. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.