When the disciples of Jesus asked him to teach them how to pray, he gave them a prayer now commonly called "The Lord's Prayer". Given that it came from the Lord, each word in this prayer must be regarded as having special significance.
Also, because this prayer was for all of his disciples, it must be regarded as a prayer that applies to everyone and therefore, touches the basic human needs as God sees it.
As we examine this prayer, we would see that God identifies human needs and yet asks us to pray that those needs be met. It shows that God meets human needs not based on his knowledge of them but because we ask.
Our focus in this article is the identified need to escape falling a victim to temptation. The prayer says, "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil". (Matthew 6:13) Temptation here refers to the pull we feel at times to do things which are evil/wrong.
This prayer, given to all of his disciples implies that all humans are confronted with temptation. It also means that prayer is a weapon against yielding or giving in to temptation. And just how much prayer are we to do to be delivered from evil? Well, let us start with the basic as told to us by the Lord and say in prayer just what He said, "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil".
How often are we to say it? How often do we face temptation? Can be daily or any day! We surely do not know the day nor the hour when temptation comes. It means we need to be on the guard. But prayer is part of the guard.
We therefore should practice and teach our children to say this prayer often and daily. Use the Lord's prayer with the same commitment we have to eating daily. In fact, in an earlier part of the prayer, they were taught to pray, "Give us this day, our daily bread". "This day" suggests they were to pray this daily.
Teaching our children to say this prayer daily has another benefit. It would build into them the consciousness that temptation to evil lurks around. So many people are overtaken by evil as though caught off guard. The more conscious we are of the possibility of temptation, the easier it becomes to avoid it or to recognise it when it visits.
It is no wonder that the Bible says, "Shun the very appearance of evil". (1 Thessalonians 5:22) This suggests that evil has an appearance that can be recognised and we then have the choice of avoiding the evil. That only happens when we are conscious of and on guard against evil. This prayer said often and daily would assist in building this consciousness.
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.