When our children were quite young, we had chickens and pet bunnies. The chickens lived in a coop and the bunnies lived under the deck in a hutch.

One day, as I drove down the driveway having just picked up my children from school, I noticed the door of the coop hanging off and  feathers and fur scattered across the lawn.

I immediately hit reverse and backed out of the driveway announcing cheerfully to my three children, “why don’t we go and get ice cream.”

I then sent a text message to my husband telling him he needed to get home straightaway and discover what had happened before I came back with the children. I wanted to protect them from what I feared—a predator had got to our chickens and bunnies.

There’s an aspect to prayer which reminds me of my actions to watch over and keep my children from harm.

It is the words: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13).

We are asking God to protect us, his children, from a “hunter” we might not even be aware of, something out there far bigger than ourselves.

And when our heavenly Father answers our request, sometimes we don’t even know what we are saved from.

I like the way the Message paraphrases this verse: “Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.”

Keep us safe from ourselves

We have a saying about being “our own worst enemy.” Sometimes we can’t help ourselves, or don’t help ourselves. 

And yet, God is always there to assist us when we are tempted.

“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 10:13).

I’m sure, like me, you’re quite happy to pray for all the help we can get.

Keep us safe from the evil one

Evil and the evil one are in the spiritual realm—God’s realm. God has taken charge of evil. 

God also gives us the armor—his armor—truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, scripture—all of which are in the spiritual realm to protect us. 

“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).

You are made strong by God, through Christ, so you CAN stand against any temptation.

Yet, at the same time we are weak and vulnerable. We are human. 

“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).

Even Jesus had to deal with temptation.

We want to do what is right but it is a struggle. The apostle Paul puts it like this: 

“The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?” (Romans 7:21-24 MSG).

But, Paul knows there is an answer. It’s the same for us:

“The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different” (Romans 7:25 MSG).

Whenever we lose hope in the battle, our heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, are working on our behalf to protect us and save us from all that threatens us.

Last week we prayed to be forgiven. Now we pray to be kept from needing forgiveness by being protected from all that tempts us.


  • We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but He who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. 1 John 5:18 What s great promise because sometimes he closes in.

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