A few years after I listened to a podcast on The Lord’s Prayer by Adam Hamilton, I changed how I pray this final phrase of Jesus’ prayer. Hamilton suggested that we put a comma (,) after the words “Lead us,”. When you do this it changes the way you hear and pray this phrase.
How often do you ask the Lord to lead in your life? You may feel you do that fairly often. But when I’m honest, I am more likely to tell the Lord what I need and see if God will follow my lead. Are you? By inserting this comma after “lead us”, I have been reminded to seek God’s leading. I will even sit in silence sometimes, having been invited to pause by that comma, to consider what it is I need God’s leadership in that day or moment. I invite you to try it.
Having paused, we then pick up with Jesus’ words: “not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One.” Again, the comma helps this make sense to me. We want God to lead us, but not into temptation – rather we are seeking God’s leadership away from temptation and away from the wiles of the Evil One.
I hope you’ve found some benefit in these brief reflections on the phrases of the Lord’s Prayer as it appears in Matthew 6. Perhaps as we reach the end you will want to go back and read each of the blog posts again as you put into practice this helpful prayer guide.