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5) Matthew 6 - Teaching to pray
Matthew 6 Teaching to pray

Praying this prayer, I admit my vulnerability to temptation.  But it also admits the weakness of others:  "Lead US. . .
deliver US."  Thus, when we pray, we are agreeing not to be the stumbling-block in the way of others nor be their
tempter (Matthew 16:23, Matthew 18:1-14, Romans 14:1- Romans 15:1, 1st Corinthians 6:12-20, 1st Corinthians 8,
1st Corinthians 10:23-33).  Further, we agree not to become our devil by deliberately throwing ourselves into the
path of temptation (Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38, Luke 22:40 and 46).

Unfortunately, most of us keep one eye open to the temptation we pray not to be led into.  Thus, even the devil
cannot be blamed for our yielding.  If we would cooperate with God as He rescues us from danger, we must make
use of those means which He has provided (1st Corinthians 10:13).  The only sure protection against the confusion
and deception involved in most trials is to live so constantly with the truth that the false or twisted values or reversed
judgments be immediately exposed for what they are.  God has already provided the surest protection in the truth of
His word.
Notice the close relationship between being sanctified in the Word and being guarded from the wicked one (John
17:6-19).  This disciple's prayer, a cry of weakness, leans upon God, the Master of all circumstances who can do
something about them (2nd Peter 2:9), fully assured of His strength that perfects itself in our weakness (2nd
Corinthians 11:30, 2nd Corinthians 12:9-10, 2nd Timothy 3:3, 1st John 5:18).

Doxology:  for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.  These beautiful words provide a fitting closing
to this prayer, but the earliest evidence for the use of these words in connection with the prayer is around 130 AD.,
in the Didache.  There is no clear evidence that either Matthew or Luke wrote these words.  Rather, the proof is
clearer that the early Church adapted this prayer for congregational worship by adding the popular doxology as a
conclusion.  Then it found its way into some early manuscripts and was handed down with the prayer, until
discovered and removed.

For excellent examples of human forgiveness, study Joseph (Genesis 45:1-15, Genesis 50:17-21); David's kind of
forgiveness as he ran from Saul:  he just kept running and kept forgiving (1st Samuel 24; 1st Samuel 26); Paul,
having been so mistreated by the Jews, yet could not keep from praying for their salvation (Acts 14:19, Acts
17:1-13, Acts 21:27 - Acts 23:22, with Romans 9:1-3, Romans 10:1-3)
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