Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Seventh Petition of the Lord\'s Prayer

April 13 – But deliver us from evil.

What does this mean? We pray in this petition, in summary, that our Father in heaven would rescue us from every evil of body and soul, possessions and reputation, and finally, when our last hour comes, give us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this valley of sorrow to Himself in heaven.

There is much evil in our world.  There is a lot that we can see and makes itself manifest.  But there is also much that is hidden.  Luther noted that if we realized how often the devil is gunning for us, we would run to the Sacrament every chance we got for refuge and consolation.

This final petition could well indeed summarize the entire Lord’s prayer.  We cry for God to make us holy because evil makes us filthy.  We want God’s kingdom to come to us because the devil kingdom is full of misery.  We want God’s will to happen because the devil, the world and our sinful nature always want their will to be done as opposed to God.  We need daily bread because evil seeks to take it away.  Temptation lures us away from what is good and right.
So deliver us from evil is wrapping up everything that we have asked for.  We wish to be delivered from all that is evil both of body and of soul.  Even from the evil that afflicts our reputation and our possessions.  It is a great evil when our cars break down and leave us stranded and alone.  So we ask for deliverance.

Finally, this petition calls on us to remember that our death is coming.  The last enemy.  And when that last hour comes, we ask God to save us from eternal death and to bring us to himself.  When this petition is prayed, God himself is roused to act for the sake of His name that he has placed upon us.
So we pray that we would die well.  Die with a faithful heart looking to the mercy of God in Christ and to know the triumph that Christ brings that we would not be left to despair and pain, but as Christ died triumphantly, so to now we join him even in death.  And look forward to the resurrection when we will be delivered from the jaws of death itself.

This valley of sorrow will be cleared away, all sin and evil will be put behind us, and we will join with God where he is, in heaven.  Our prayer ends the way it began.  Imploring our Father in heaven to have us join with him in heaven as dear children.
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