Heidelberg Catechism Lesson 52

Q. 127. Which is the sixth petition?
 
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”;[1] that is, since we are so weak in ourselves, that we cannot stand a moment;[2] and besides this, since our mortal enemies, the devil,[3] the world,[4] and our own flesh,[5] cease not to assault us, do thou therefore preserve and strengthen us by the power of thy Holy Spirit, that we may not be overcome in this spiritual warfare,[6] but constantly and strenuously may resist our foes, till at last we obtain a complete victory.[7]
[1] Matthew 6:13;  [2] Romans 8:26; Psalm 103:14;  [3] 1 Peter 5:8;  [4] Ephesians 6:12; John 15:19;   [5] Romans 7:23; Galatians 5:17;  [6] Matthew 26:41; Mark 13:33;  [7] 1 Thessalonians 3:13 and 5:23.
 
 
Q. 128. How dost thou conclude thy prayer?
 
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever”;[1] that is, all these we ask of thee, because thou, being our King and almighty, art willing and able to give us all good;[2] and all this we pray for, that thereby not we, but thy holy name, may be glorified for ever.[3]
[1] Matthew 6:13;  [2] Romans 10:12; 2 Peter 2:9;  [3] John 14:13; Psalm 115:1; Philippians 4:20.
 
 
Q. 129. What doth the word “Amen” signify?
 
Amen[1] signifies, it shall truly and certainly be: for my prayer is more assuredly heard of God, than I feel in my heart that I desire these things of Him.
[1] 2 Corinthians 1:20; 2 Timothy 2:13.

Commentary

The sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer is worded in a most unusual way: “Lead us not into temptation.” Most of us would readily agree with Q/A 127 that this is a petition that “God would either keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted” (WSC 106). However, the first impression we get when we read this petition is that God does lead people into temptation and we are petitioning Him not to lead us into this. This impression, however, cannot be right, for as James says: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man” (Jas 1:13).
 
Why then did our Lord frame the sixth petition the way He did? He did so, it appears, to emphasise God’s sovereignty even in the circumstances in which we may come under temptations. Indeed, it is because God is sovereign and is,—through His providence,—powerfully bringing all things whatsoever He has decreed, that we can have any confidence that He is able to hear and answer our prayers to keep us from evil.
 
As we come to the Lord pleading the sixth petition, He gives us the assurance that He is faithful, and will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it (1 Cor 10:13).
 
Finally, in the conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer, we are reminded again of our dependence upon God as well as the fact that our lives and desire must be to glorify God. Therefore no one can honestly pray the Lord’s Prayer unless he believes that God’s chief end for him is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.