When Jesus taught his first disciples to pray to God the Father, his model prayer included this curious-sounding request:
“And do not bring us into temptation” (Matthew 6:13 HCSB). The footnote reads, “or, do not cause us to come into.”
What is that all about?
Remember that “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil” (Matthew 4:1, HCSB).
It was a sifting. And, as Jesus later revealed to Peter, Satan has to ask God for permission to sift his people (Luke 22:31). (The same principle is at work in Job chapters 1& 2.)
In his teaching on prayer, Jesus was revealing that his disciples can–and should, make a specific request to God that will work against Satan’s opposite request to sift them.
Wow. After reading that Jesus needed angels to minister to him after his temptation (see Matthew 4:11), and reading the accounts of the siftings of Peter and Job (see Matthew 26:31-75 and Job 1-42), I will take Jesus up on his offer! I will ask the Father, “do not bring me into temptation.”
Have you ever been sifted? Are you being sifted now? Are you praying the way Jesus taught his disciples to pray about siftings that concern them (see Matthew 6:13 & 26:41)?
For more about sifting and how it could apply to your life, see my book Faith with Grit.