“The Lord’s Prayer”  contains a puzzling phrase. “Deliver us from evil” makes perfect sense – but why would Jesus instruct His followers to ask God to “lead us not into temptation?”
Surely God does not want us to sin. Why then would He tempt us?
James writes, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.” 
So that leaves us with the question: why should believers pray “Lead us not into temptation”?
And why would Jesus instruct Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation”? 
The truth is, Jesus knew temptation lay ahead. Perhaps an hour earlier, during Passover in the Upper Room, He said to Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail . . . .” 
Jesus sympathizes with Peter (and with us) in our temptations, having been tempted Himself.  Following His baptism, and before His public ministry began, “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” 
Here we find the Spirit leading Jesus into the desert with the express purpose of being tempted by Satan. Clearly, it was the Father’s purpose that the Son undergo temptation.
But the devil, not the Holy Spirit, is doing the tempting. “And the tempter came and said to Him, ’If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’” 
Now we see the reality: God tempts no one to sin. But He purposefully puts us in circumstances where the Evil One is allowed to tempt us.
This story is as old as the Garden of Eden.  God granted the serpent access to Eve, who believed the tempter’s deceptive lies.
We also see that God actively tests our faith. His command to Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac  stands as one of the toughest tests we can imagine.
When we encounter the hard challenges of life, how do we know if it is a temptation from the devil, a test from God, or just one of those regular trials that happen in our fallen world?
You may find it helpful to know the same word  in the Greek New Testament is translated as temptation, test, and trial. Essentially, when “tough stuff” comes into our lives we can view it through one of three lenses:
Satan tempts us to doubt God’s goodness, desire something illicit, disbelieve God’s truth, or disobey His Word.
God tests us to prove what is in our hearts  and to grow us up in our faith. 
From the human perspective, this is a trial,  like all mankind endures, or perhaps the tribulation that comes from following the Master in a corrupted environment. 
What is the practical application of this truth?
First, I don’t have to spend any time trying to figure out which category my present difficulties fit into. Simultaneously, it is a temptation, a test and a trial.
Second, I am reminded that the same Lord who prayed for Peter is praying for me. “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” 
Lastly, I can be confident of victory when I trust the Lord, regardless of the strength of the challenge before me. “No temptation/test/trial has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted/tested/tried beyond what you are able, but with the temptation/test/trial will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 
Regardless of how strongly Satan tempts me to sin, I am confident God is at work for my good and His glory.  As Jesus told His disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” 
Are you facing a particular difficulty in life right now?
How are you responding?
Pay attention to whose voice you’re listening to. Tempted to doubt, despair, disbelieve, or disobey? That’s the Enemy’s voice, for sure.
Being reminded of the presence and promises of God, and the prayers of His Son for you? The Holy Spirit is at work in your thoughts.
Remember, God provides a “way of escape” when He leads us into a time of testing. Ask Him to show you what path to take.
Let us know how to pray for you on this journey of life. We count it a privilege to pray, even as we covet the prayers of God’s people.
 Luke 22:31-32. It’s instructive to note the plural pronoun in “sift you (all) like wheat” changes to singular in the next phrase: “but I have prayed for you (Peter) that your (singular) faith may not fail.”
 “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).