“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against … the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)
With the request “Deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13, KJV), we implore God to keep us safe from the powers of evil. Some of our English translations describe this also as protection from “the evil one” — that is, Satan, or the devil.
Certainly “evil” and “the evil one” both threaten to undo us. As the book of Ephesians points out, the dark forces on earth and the evil powers in the spiritual realms are lined up against us.
In another passage, the Bible also warns that our “enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We live in a world filled with terrifying enemies.
We should be just as horrified, though, by the evil that lurks in our own hearts, twisting us with greed, lust, envy, pride, deceit, and more. In the face of our adversaries and of the sinfulness deep in our hearts, we can’t help crying out to God, “Deliver us from evil!”
And we can trust in God to help. By his Holy Spirit, we can be strong “in his mighty power” and be equipped with the spiritual battle gear we need to stand firm and to serve God with confidence.
Father, on our own we are weak and helpless. Deliver us from evil, we pray, and provide us with the faith and assurance we need to serve you boldly. Amen.