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We don’t have to look hard in the current situation to see many evils: sickness, suffering, death and isolation. The last line of the prayer of Jesus offers this short, sharp prayer for deliverance. It is not wrong to ask God to save us from evil. To pray in this way is a sign of strength not weakness. To pray these words builds hope and resilience even in the midst of pain and disease. We cannot and do not pretend that all is right in the world. But each day we can place ourselves and those we love and the whole world under God’s protection.

Luke 22.39–46

39 He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. 40 When he reached the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.’ 41 Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, 42 ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.’ [[43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. 44 In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.]] 45 When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, 46 and he said to them, ‘Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.’

The seventh line of the Lord’s Prayer is vital. As we pray each day, ‘But deliver us from evil’, we build strength and resilience for every challenge we face, whether large or small. All too often, we give way at the first sign of opposition or difficulty.

Jesus loves his disciples. Yet his love does not wrap us in cotton wool or take us out of a world in which we will face evil. We are called to share in God’s mission and that means being part of the great resistance.

In Gethsemane, Jesus faces his greatest trial and prays for strength not to turn away from the cross. We, too, may face defining moments in our lives and ministries. We build our own strength for these key moments of our lives in the quiet daily disciplines of prayer, cultivating a deep resistance to evil and living against the tide.

What have been the greatest trials and demands of your own life so far? What are they likely to be in the future?

By the mystery of your holy incarnation;
by your birth, childhood and obedience;
by your baptism, fasting and temptation,
good Lord, deliver us.


From the Litany

Talk about (or write or draw) some of the things that worry you or frighten you. God doesn’t promise to take away the things that make us frightened or anxious, but God does promise to always be with us. Try to learn this prayer: “God, you are with me. When I am frightened, you are with me. When I am worried, you are with me. You are always with me. Please give me your peace. Amen.”
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Reflections from the Church House Publishing Pilgrim Journeys: 40 Days of Reflections on The Lord's Prayer written by Steven Croft are copyright 2019, 2020 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission. Full details of both resources are available on the Church of England website.

Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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