Our Father who art in heaven…And lead us not to love temptation
As a nightly ritual, my son says his prayers before we read a Bible story together.
The recitation of ‘Our Father who art in Heaven’ has changed throughout the years. We started off with him trying to mimic the sounds that I was making to him being able to recite completely by himself.
However, one night, as he was trying to speed the prayer in order to reach the Bible story segment of our routine, he stumbled on one line that made me pause and ponder.
Instead of: ‘And lead us not into temptation’, he said: ‘And lead us not to love temptation’.
Do we love temptation?
Do we flirt with temptation and then blame it when we stumble?
Is temptation a concrete adversary or simply another arrow in the quiver to make us falter?
‘For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places’ (Ephesians 6:12).
When I examine our tendencies, you can certainly make the argument that we gravitate towards temptation.
As a concrete, albeit simplistic example, why do I load up the fridge with high-fat cheeses if I am trying to lose weight?
Similarly, why do we engage in conversations that we know will eventually lead to gossip?
How do we abstain from flirting with temptation?
In my search for an answer, I stumbled across this great summary: Spiritual weapons to fight the devil
First, to arm ourselves against the devil and sin, we must fast and pray to strengthen our Spirit so we can draw closer to our Lord. Second, we must know our Bible well and inscribe in our heart the verses that comfort and strengthen us in times of temptation. Third we must persist.
Other articles you might enjoy: Father God, I Wonder
Additional Coptic resources on this topic: Spiritual weapons to fight the devil
Recommended Children’s Book on this topic: Philo and the Faithfulness SuperHoly
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