December 24 - LD 52, Day 1: The Prayer for Deliverance from Evil and from the Evil One
by Rev. Arie den Hartog
Read: Galatians 5:13-21
With this meditation we begin the consideration of the sixth petition of the perfect prayer which the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us. To understand the urgent need for this petition, we need to understand our need as Christians for deliverance from the twofold power and destruction of our sin. The fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer teaches us to pray for deliverance from the guilt of our sin. Sin makes us guilty before God. That we are guilty before the righteous and holy God means that we deserve to be condemned by Him. Our sins are so serious that they make us worthy of God’s everlasting judgment of hell fire. In praying the fifth petition, we pray that the atonement which Jesus offered for us on the cross might cover the guilt of our sin and be applied to us personally. We pray that the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ might be imputed to us by His wonderful grace, even as we believe in Him and trust in Him.
The sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer teaches us to pray earnestly for deliverance from the power and corruption of our sin. Born from fallen Adam and Eve, we have inherited a totally depraved nature. The corruption of sin makes us ugly, abominable, and loathsome in the sight of God. We cannot possibly live in the presence of the holy and blessed God as long as we are corrupt and wicked.
Even as born again believers, we have a sinful nature against which we must wrestle all our life long. We will not be fully delivered from our corrupt sinful nature until our vile bodies are put in the grave and we are raised again with new bodies, wholly delivered from the corruption of sin and gloriously changed to be fashioned after the glorious body of Christ. Paul speaks of this in Phil 3:21.
The child of God who has the Spirit of Christ in his or her heart desires to be made more and more holy, until finally he is made perfect as God is perfect, and holy as God our heavenly Father is holy.
The remaining corruption of our sin is a power of evil in our very nature. We are called to struggle against this sinful nature. We are not to yield to the inclination of our sinful nature for even a moment. The presence of this sinful nature is the cause of an on-going mighty spiritual battle within us. When our Lord taught us to pray the sixth petition, “Deliver us from evil,” He was making us aware of the reality of this sinful nature in us and the power of this sinful nature to destroy us. We cannot deliver ourselves; we need the help of our God. Experiencing the reality of this struggle within himself, the inspired apostle Paul cried out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24).
The words of the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer can also be translated according to the original language of the Bible as “the evil one.” So then in this petition we are praying for deliverance from the power of the devil himself, who is the author of all evil. Not only is he the author of all evil in the world, but he is also the author of the evil within our sinful natures. This is a fearful reality. In Ephesians 6:12 the inspired apostle Paul warns us that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
In the sixth petition we are taught of the great need for deliverance from the power of the devil in our lives. Do you know the great urgency of this prayer to God?
- Date: December 24
Rev. Arie denHartog (Wife: Sherry)
Ordained: October 1974
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1974; Foreign Missionary, Singapore - 1979; Randolph, WI - 1987; Redlands, CA - 1990; Minister-on-Loan, Singapore - 2001; Southwest, Grandville, MI - 2005; emeritus, Dec.31, 2016Website: www.southwestprc.org/
Address4895 Ivanrest Ave. SW
State or ProvinceMichigan
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