“Our Father… deliver us from the evil one”
I used to pray this prayer as a child in church and in school. Praying for deliverance from the evil one suited our society fairly well and here’s why:
It’s natural for us to pray for deliverance from something or someone OUT THERE.
“If only my husband would…
If only my teacher wouldn’t…
If only the economy hadn’t…
God if you could change the environment around me…
deliver us from the evil OUT THERE”
But “Deliver us from EVIL” would have been a better translation. I’m not saying don’t pray for safety from what is out there, but that’s not the tricky part.
Jesus takes the disciples to the garden of Gethsemane the night he is taken away to be crucified. Mankind’s journey is now complete, beginning in one garden of paradise and falling into the other. Eden was God’s plan for us. Paradise. Bliss. Stuff actually working the way it should. Mankind threw off the yoke of God and landed in Gethsemane where we find Jesus preparing to break the yoke of sin and death from our necks.
Gethsemane is translated “Olive press”.
From paradise to the crusher! An olive press was a place where pressure was applied to olives so what was inside could pour out and be harvested. Deeming ourselves too mighty to stay in paradise, we landed in the crusher.
And when trouble crushes us, what’s inside comes out.
This is the point of no return for Jesus. Golgotha is where he drank the cup of the Father’s wrath for our sins, but Gethsemane was the place where he decided. He tells his disciples “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.”
Out of this crushing he says a thing that is the foundation for our salvation. It is a shocking sort of idea for a North American and even more surreal because the perfect Son of God is the one saying it. He sees the pain coming and asks his Father in heaven if there could yet be another way? Then he ends with:
“Not my will but YOUR will be done”
It should be noted that if the King and the Prince of heaven can find no other way for you to be saved it might be advisable for you to quit looking, or quit trying to convince yourself you’re really a good person underneath and God wouldn’t judge you because ____ and ____? Sometimes cutting our losses and submitting is the hardest thing.
Funny that Jesus didn’t pray “Not the devil’s will, but your will be done” or “Not Rome’s will…” or “Deliver me from the evil out there”
“Not MY will”
I think it would be more helpful for us to pray “Deliver me from … myself”