We continue our blog series on the Lord’s Prayer called “In Limonada as it is in Heaven.” This week we reflect on the line “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” This week we invite you to pray with us that God would not only end violence, but give the community radical love and forgiveness towards those who perpetrate violence in the community.
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from Evil”
Our world handles evil in different ways. Not all of them are healthy.
Sometimes, we see evil and we stick our head in the sand. We ignore it. We pretend it isn’t there cause it scares us. It runs rampant and we do nothing about it. Instead, we sing happy songs about Jesus around the campfire.
Other times, we let it overwhelm us. We cannot ignore it. In fact, it is so in our face that it completely ruins us. Our lives are defined by it and our only way of dealing with it is to let it drive us to hopeless depression and despair. We open up a big tub if ice cream and watch Friends reruns.
In other situations, we look at evil with self-righteousness. We say “we are not like those evildoers” and we judge them. We resolve to fix it ourselves. We know evil is out there, but we know that we are the ones who are good. We join the battle against evil and put together plans to defeat it — and sometimes get pulled into a form of righteous evil ourselves.
But what if there is a different way?
In the Lord’s Prayer, we see Jesus inviting us to approach evil differently. He teaches us to pray that we would not be led into temptation, or as N.T. Write restates it, He teaches us to pray that God would “enable us to pass safely through the testing of our faith.”
This prayer assumes that we have not put our head in the sand. It is a prayer that we would not let evil overwhelm us. The call of Jesus here is that we would be present to the world, aware of the evil around us, recognize it for what it is and know that Jesus has final victory of it.
It’s reminiscent of Jesus’ prayer in John 17 when he prays for us, “I am not praying that you take them out of them world, but that you protect them from the evil one.”
As followers of Jesus, we have signed onto the struggle to see His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Our daily prayer must be that we would not be overcome by it. For we know that Jesus himself has ultimately overcome evil in his death and resurrection.
We will quickly realize that we do not need to pray this prayer if we are not engaged in the work of the Kingdom.
Tita and our friends in La Limonada know this well.
They have intentionally chosen to not stick their heads in the sand – even though it is likely that some days they wish they could.
They have not allowed themselves to be overtaken by it — even though some days this is hard to not let happen.
They have not self-righteously taken it upon themselves to defeat evil single handedly with some form of self-righteous evil — even though few people would judge them if they did.
Rather they work hard everyday to be the very presence of Christ in a broken, yet beautiful community.
Let us all pray together that Jesus would not lead them into temptation but deliver them from evil. Let us pray together, as they engage in the work of the Kingdom, that they would be protected by the power of Jesus.
Put your prayers into action:
We are aware that it is the young people of La Limonada that are most vulnerable to being led into temptation and overcome by evil. This becomes more true as students get older and are faced with more and more temptations.
You can help support the students at this critical age of transition by sponsoring a Scholar.
You can sponsor a scholar for $100/month or help with a 1/2 sponsorship of $50/month.