King James translators said ‘deliver us from evil’. NIV and others speak about God delivering us from ‘the evil One’. Without going into the theological etymology about which is more accurate, it is fair to say that you do not experience evil without there being an evil One behind it.
John Calvin studied the original text and concluded that both ideas are synonymous. In praying the Lord’s Prayer we are confronted with our soul nemesis. Call it Satan, Lucifer or the Prince of Darkness- by any name we have a problem. The cosmic imbalance and destructive forces opposed to eternal life are wired to kill us off.
Jesus had been face to face with the Devil and knew all about his subtlety. Jesus did not want his disciples to be alone in facing the Enemy so he taught us to pray:
Like a wise ranger teaching hikers how to avoid deadly snakes on the path, Jesus knew we needed God’s help to be saved from the Enemy’s poison. Jesus did not teach that we should lock ourselves up and hide in caves. In His high priestly prayer He spoke to the Father about us in this way:
Perhaps no one in the Early Church had more to experience and say about the perils of the journey more than the apostle Paul. He was beaten, imprisoned, shipwrecked, left for dead, bitten by a poisonous snake and harassed constantly. If you want to talk about trials, he had more than Judge Wapner.
Still, at the end of his life he rejoiced in having kept the faith and finished the race. He kept going through many great difficulties and discovered that Father had grace for him in every situation.
He told the believers in Thessalonica,
What Jesus had prayed years before, Paul testified with certainty what he himself had experienced. God saves and guards us from the evil one. God is faithful and gives us strength and grace in the face of every unimaginable, rotten circumstance and its temptations.
To the believers living in the Sin City of Corinth, he said:
While there are many ideas floating around about deliverance from demons, the main highway of consideration is knowing that Father wants you to ask for His assistance.
Jesus Christ died and rose again to deliver us from evil. He is our deliverance. Where do we go in the face of every kind of evil? We go to our Father who can keep us from falling and save us from the evil one.