“Jesus, teach us to pray.” This is the request that the disciples have for Jesus. They come to their master because they see the importance of prayer. As followers of Jesus, they want instructions on how they ought to pray. Jesus gives them a prayer that has become a guideline for the church.
This prayer assures us that our Father loves us and wants to have a personal relationship with us. This prayer is an invitation to open our hearts before our Father, and verse 13 speaks about our need for the Father when we face temptations.
Every follower of Jesus faces temptation. We need to be honest and humble about the different temptations that we face in our lives. Jesus experienced temptations in his life, and he conquered those temptations. When the disciples approach Jesus with their request to teach them how to pray, Jesus includes this important area of his followers’ spiritual lives.
The book of Hebrews teaches that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). Jesus knows from experience that we are going to face temptation because the evil one—Satan, the enemy of God—is always trying to destroy our lives. Jesus understands our weakness and is teaching this principle to his disciples and us. Let us not ignore temptation and forget to pray about those temptations that daily chase us.
It is not God but our carnal desires that lead us to temptation, according to James 1:12-15. God will provide an escape. When we pray about our temptations, we acknowledge our need and dependence on God. Just like a small kid yells for help from his dad when he cannot reach the cookie jar, we can cry out to God to help with the temptations in our lives.
Because God loves us, he is faithful and will deliver us. In 1 Corinthians 10:13, Paul writes, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
The amazing part of this passage is that we have a faithful God who is always caring for us in the middle of our weaknesses. But what is the “escape” that God is going to provide? I believe that prayer is one way that God offers an escape when we are facing temptations. Jesus teaches his disciples to pray about temptations as a way to escape.
Jesus died for our sins, and he is the ultimate escape from all temptations because he conquered sin on the cross. We are victorious in him. The more time we spend in communion with our Father through prayer the more we will be able to endure those temptations. We will be ready to cry out to our Father for help to keep our lives holy and to enjoy the relationship that we have in him through his son, Jesus.
Daniel Rodriguez is the Central District Conference minister. Prior to becoming the district minister, Rodriguez was the pastor of Iglesia Agua Viva, a USMB congregation in Omaha, Nebraska. He has led LEAD Cohorts and in 2018, Rodriguez presented a Spanish-language LEAD One event on discipleship in Omaha and Fresno, California, as well as a workshop on discipleship at the 2018 USMB National Convention held in Salt Lake City, Utah. He and his family live in Omaha.