The horrific murders at Christian Covenant School in Nashville are another stark reminder of the presence of evil in our world. It is a reminder that we must be diligent to pray the prayer Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord's Prayer, “Deliver us from evil.”
In 50 years of following the Lord and seeking to understand His ways, I have found that the Holy Spirit will apply this prayer of Jesus through us with dramatic results. Sue and I discovered this in the first year of our marriage.
Sue and I Delivered Through Prayer in the Spirit
During the first year of our marriage, we were at a home prayer meeting and as everyone was kneeling around the room in prayer, one woman began to pray fervently in the Spirit, i.e., in other tongues. For reasons I did not understand, her prayer had a powerful impact on me, and I began to weep as I knelt at my chair in prayer.
Before we departed that evening, I said to this woman, “I felt that you were praying for me tonight.” She replied, “Yes, I felt I was praying for you and Sue.”
We learned why a short while later. On our way home, while crossing a 4-lane thoroughfare in our little Volkswagen Bug, I suddenly heard Sue scream, “Look out! Look out!” I turned and saw the nose of an 18-wheeler, going at a high rate of speed, filling the window of our little Bug and then I heard the crashing sound of crunching metal.
Thankfully, we were hit toward the rear of the car, spinning us around into another vehicle that was pointing in the opposite direction. We came within inches of death for it is hard to see how we could have survived if we had been hit broadside. I have no doubt that prayer in the Spirit saved us from the devil’s evil intentions that night.
Missionary Delivered Through Prayer in the Spirit
In the early 20th century, William Burton, a missionary to Africa, was stricken down with a tropical fever while travelling through the Congo. His friends decided he would not live and sadly left him semi-conscious at a village and continued on their journey.
Two hours later they were shocked when he caught up with them completely well. “What happened?” they asked. “I don’t know,” he replied, “But after you left, I felt something warm flowing through my body. I suddenly discovered I was well and decided to catch up with you.”
Around two years later, Burton was the guest speaker at a missionary convention in his home country of England and learned “the rest of the story.” After a meeting in which he told this story of his healing in the heart of Africa, a little woman came to him and said, “Brother Burton, do you keep a journal?” He replied, “Yes.”
She went on to tell how one day in prayer she was moved by the Holy Spirit to pray in other tongues and as she prayed she saw him stricken down. She said, “I continued to cry out to the Lord in other tongues until I saw you rise up and go on your way.” They compared their notes and the same time she was praying in England; he was healed in Africa.
The Conclusion of the Matter
Yes, we should pray every day the prayer Jesus taught us; that our family, friends, communities, and nation would be delivered from evil. I have no doubt that much tragedy can be avoided if we pray this prayer, guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
On earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL