My question about the Lord's Prayer


My name is Regina Marie. This is a question that I have had in my mind every time I say The Lord’s Prayer: At the end of the prayer it states…“and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.” Who are we asking not to lead us into temptation. I do not understand the meaning of the ending of The Lord’s Prayer. Can someone answer this question for me, and has anyone else wondered about this?

Thank you.

I would encourage to look at these two links

True or false. The sixth petition means that we ask of God that he not tempt us to sin.
False. Para. 2846: This petition goes to the root of the preceding one, for our sins result from our consenting to temptation; we therefore ask our Father not to “lead” us into temptation. It is difficult to translate the Greek verb used by a single English word: the Greek means both “do not allow us to enter into temptation” and “do not let us yield to temptation” (Cf. Mt 26:41). “God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one” (Jas 1:13); on the contrary, he wants to set us free from evil. We ask him not to allow us to take the way that leads to sin. We are engaged in the battle “between flesh and spirit”; this petition implores the Spirit of discernment and strength.

It’s the translation we use perhaps. In the Jerusalem Bible

Jeus teaches us to pray with the words,

Our Father in heaven,
may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test,
but save us from the evil one.

Matthew 6: 9-13

From the Catechism (CCC)…I believe that these paragraphs will help. Also, this section of the CCC on the Lord’s Prayer…is beautifully written…and very helpful in enriching our understanding of how/what to pray for in a broader prayer-life sense.

Pax Christi

2846 This petition goes to the root of the preceding one, for our sins result from our consenting to temptation; we therefore ask our Father not to “lead” us into temptation. It is difficult to translate the Greek verb used by a single English word: the Greek means both "do not allow us to enter into temptation"and "do not let us yield to temptation."150 “God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one”;151 on the contrary, he wants to set us free from evil. We ask him not to allow us to take the way that leads to sin. We are engaged in the battle “between flesh and spirit”; this petition implores the Spirit of discernment and strength.

2847 The Holy Spirit makes us *discern *between trials, which are necessary for the growth of the inner man,152 and temptation, which leads to sin and death.153 We must also discern between being tempted and consenting to temptation. Finally, discernment unmasks the lie of temptation, whose object appears to be good, a “delight to the eyes” and desirable,154 when in reality its fruit is death.

[INDENT]God does not want to impose the good, but wants free beings. . . . There is a certain usefulness to temptation. No one but God knows what our soul has received from him, not even we ourselves. But temptation reveals it in order to teach us to know ourselves, and in this way we discover our evil inclinations and are obliged to give thanks for the goods that temptation has revealed to us.155[/INDENT]


2848 “Lead us not into temptation” implies a decision of the heart: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. . . . No one can serve two masters."156 "If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit."157 In this assent to the Holy Spirit the Father gives us strength. "No testing has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, so that you may be able to endure it."158

2849 Such a battle and such a victory become possible only through prayer. It is by his prayer that Jesus vanquishes the tempter, both at the outset of his public mission and in the ultimate struggle of his agony.159 In this petition to our heavenly Father, Christ unites us to his battle and his agony. He urges us to *vigilance *of the heart in communion with his own. Vigilance is “custody of the heart,” and Jesus prayed for us to the Father: "Keep them in your name."160 The Holy Spirit constantly seeks to awaken us to keep watch.161 Finally, this petition takes on all its dramatic meaning in relation to the last temptation of our earthly battle; it asks for final perseverance. "Lo, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who is awake."162

Thank you Cristiano, Trishie and Lancer for giving me the answer(s) to my question about the ending prhrase in The Lord’s Prayer. At last I fully understand its meaning, and now when I pray our Lor’ds Prayer there will no longer be that big question mark in my head as end my prayer.

I found the difference between the Greek verb translation and the English translation of “lead me not into temptation.” This really made everything crystal clear.

Peace be with you.


Matthew 6: 9-13

Wow this version just isn’t the Pater Noster I have grown too understand. I don’t know which is worse the JB or the NAB. We are asking God to guide us down the right path and not to fall into sin and all evil. What I have highlighted in red makes it sound that we shouldn’t have to go through any trial and tribulation. To the OP examine this from the Haydock Bible Commentary

Ver. 9. As God is the common Father of all, we pray for all. Let none fear on account of their lowly station here, for all are comprised in the same heavenly nobility. … By saying, “who art in heaven,” he does not mean to insinuate that he is there only, but he wishes to withdraw the humble petitioner from earth, and fix his attention on heaven. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xx.) Other prayers are not forbidden. Jesus Christ prayed in different words (John, chap. viii.[xvii.?]), and the apostles; (Acts i, 24,) but this is an example of the simple style to be used in prayer, and is applicable to all occasions. — Hallowed be thy name, from the word holy, be held and kept holy, be glorified by us, and that not only by our words, but principally by the lives we lead. The honour and glory of God should be the principal subject of our prayers, and the ultimate end of our every action; every other thing must be subordinate to this. (Haydock)

Ver. 10. Those who desire to arrive at the kingdom of heaven, must endeavour so to order their life and conversation, as if they were already conversing in heaven. This petition is also to be understood for the accomplishment of the divine will in every part of the world, for the extirpation of error, and explosion of vice, that truth and virtue may everywhere obtain, and heaven and earth differ no more in honouring the supreme majesty of God. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xx.)

Ver. 11. Our supersubstantial bread.[2] So it is at present in the Latin text: yet the same Greek word in St. Luke, is translated daily bread, as we say it in our Lord’s prayer, and as it was used to be said in the second or third age, as we find by Tertullian and St. Cyprian. Perhaps the Latin word, supersubstantialis, may bear the same sense as daily bread, or bread that we daily stand in need of; for it need not be taken for supernatural bread, but for bread which is daily added, to maintain and support the substance of our bodies. (Witham) — In St. Luke the same word is rendered daily bread. It is understood of the bread of life, which we receive in the blessed sacrament. (Challoner) — It is also understood of the supernatural support of the grace of God, and especially of the bread of life received in the blessed eucharist. (Haydock) — As we are only to pray for our daily bread, we are not to be over solicitous for the morrow, nor for the things of this earth, but being satisfied with what is necessary, turn all our thoughts to the joys of heaven. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xx.)

Ver. 12. Of all the petitions this alone is repeated twice. God puts our judgment in our own hands, that none might complain, being the author of his own sentence. He could have forgiven us our sins without this condition, but he consulted our good, in affording us opportunities of practising daily the virtues of piety and mildness. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xx.) — These debts signify not only mortal but venial sins, as St. Augustine often teaches. Therefore every man, be he ever so just, yet because he cannot live without venial sin, ought to say this prayer. (Cont. 2 epis. Pelag. lib. i. chap. 14.) — (lib. xxi. de civit. Dei. chap. xxvii.) (Bristow)

Ver. 13. God is not the tempter of evil, or author of sin. (James i. 13.) He tempteth no man: we pray that he would not suffer the devil to tempt us above our strength: that he would remove the temptations, or enable us to overcome them, and deliver us from evil, particularly the evil of sin, which is the first, and the greatest, and the true efficient cause of all evils. (Haydock) — In the Greek we here read, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory; which words are found in some old Greek liturgies, and there is every appearance that they have thence slipped into the text of St. Matthew. They do not occur in St. Luke (vi. 4.[xi. 4.?]), nor in any one of the old Latin copies, nor yet in the most ancient of the Greek texts. The holy Fathers prior to St. Chrysostom, as Grotius observes, who have explained the Lord’s prayer, never mention these words. — And not being found in Tertullian, St. Cyprian, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, &c., nor in the Vatican Greek copy, nor in the Cambridge manuscripts. &c. as Dr. Wells also observes, it seems certain that they were only a pious conclusion, or doxology, with which the Greeks in the fourth age began to conclude their prayers, much after the same manner as, Glory be to the Father, &c. was added to the end of each psalm. We may reasonably presume, that these words at first were in the margin of some copies, and afterwards by some transcribers taken into the text itself. (Witham)

I mean to possibly offend you, but this version just doesn’t sound right

Thank you Willy Jose, Ryan O’Neil and tobinaatorstark for taking the time to fully explain the answersrespond to my question.

Peace be with you all.

The prayer is also called the Our Father - that is whom Jesus taught his disciples to pray to, when they asked him. No one else is addressed in the entire prayer. See Matthew 6.

As for the meaning of “and lead…from evil”, this is a request to be spared the time of trial which was believed to be coming uon the earth in the near future. “Temptation” is better translated as something like “testing”, “[time of] trial”, “being put to the test” - it is a process which was thought of as part of the “birth-pangs” of the new age of the coming of the Kingship of God which Jesus preached. This is part of a way of thinking called “apocalyptic”, which is found throughout the New Testament. Jesus is himself presented as an apocalyptic figure, and Christianity began as an apocalyptic sect within Judaism. The whole of the Our Father is an apocalyptic prayer.

So the request does not in in any way imply that God tempts anyone.

As for “deliver…evil”, this is probably to be understood as a prayer for protection from the power of the devil, who was thought of as having power over the present world and age; who would be cast out & defeated decisively when the Kingship of God finally entered into human history. The signs done by Jesus are Messianic works that show, to those with eyes to see, that this Kingship has at last done so. The whole Our Father is a request for something to happen that has at last begun to happen.

Is that any use ?

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