Pope Francis is suggesting that the wording of the Lord’s Prayer, as found in Matthew 6 is misleading. In verse 13, the wording of the prayer is,
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”
According to The Guardian, the Pope stated, “It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation.”
He added: “I am the one who falls; it’s not him pushing me into temptation to then see how I have fallen.”
“A father doesn’t do that, a father helps you to get up immediately. It’s Satan who leads us into temptation, that’s his department.”
So, may I ask…
Why is it that there is always someone who knows more about what Jesus MEANT TO SAY, or should have said, than Jesus did when He actually said it? Does the Pope have the authority to correct Jesus?
The answer is an emphatic NO; not the Pope, not you nor I, and not one person that we know has that authority. But, you ask, why did the Pope make such a statement, one that will surely draw fire from all Christendom, i.e., evangelicals, protestants, and Catholics alike? The answer is not immediately obvious, but the Pope’s words and actions are the subject of much study and discussion by students of prophecy, especially prophecies of the end times – a subject for another time.
There is, however, a very simple solution to the un-problem of the words in the “Lord’s Prayer.” Jesus gave us the answer, even as He was giving us the prayer.
Matthew 6:9 not only gives us the first words of the prayer, but it gives us information about the use of the prayer. Let’s look at that verse.
(After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. – Matthew 6:9 KJV)
These words, “after this manner therefore pray ye”, are telling us that this prayer is an example, a sample, an outline, or a lesson on how to pray. Prayer is not an exact science, nor is it a performance, nor a recital. It’s a personal petition to God, and so many believers are just not good at it. I must confess, I am not good at it.
Thanks to Jesus and His lesson to His disciples, we have a model prayer, spoken by Jesus Himself, to guide us as we approach God in our sometimes feeble attempts at prayer. And, that model prayer is the crux of this writing.
You see, you can memorize the prayer, word for word, or you can change it to fit your situation, or to fit your needs.
Now, you might be asking, “If I pray the prayer exactly as it is written, how will God know what is really on my heart?”
Well, I’m certainly glad you’re interested, and in answer I’m going to give you three verses that Jesus gave His disciples just before he gave them the prayer. Remember as you read them that God knows all things.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. – Matthew 6:6-8 KJV.
Out of these three verses, there are two important lessons that Jesus is teaching us.
The first is this. Notice in verse seven, Jesus singles out a group of people when he says, “as the heathen do.” Why would He say that? Because He is talking to His disciples, or saved people. The “heathen” are people of the world, lost people, and they pray in vain, meaning their prayers are as empty as their hearts. You may have seen a few of these yourself if you watch televangelists on TV.
Second, in verse eight, Jesus says, “for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” Yes, God does know exactly what you need, at all times. And to simplify this as much as I can, God expects you to give Him the respect, as Almighty God, to ask for it, instead of sitting around with your feet propped up, your hat on backwards, and your hand out.
Search your heart. If you don’t honestly see God as ALMIGHTY GOD, you may have a little problem recognizing who your real lord is. If you’re saved, always give God the respect that He commands. Pray to Him, and do it often. You cannot pray to much.
“Lead us not into temptation.” What does it mean? Quite simply, it means “Lead us away from temptation.” This is one of those times when we should go with our hearts and try not to complicate something that’s been pretty simple for some two thousand years.
You can change up the words of your prayer without rewriting the bible, even if you’re the Pope.