Monday, August 22, 2011

"When you pray...." Homily on the Lord's Prayer, Part 7: Our Deliverance (as preached by an orthodox rebel)

"...deliver us from evil...." Luke 11:4b KJV

"The prince of darkness grim.
We tremble not for him.
His rage we can endure,
For, lo, his doom is sure!" -Martin Luther

God gives us the weapons of our warfare, but victory does not belong to us. It does not even depend on us. If it did, then we would be doomed to wage a long defeat: a valiant effort in futile struggle. Deliverance does not fall to us; it falls to God. This truth is the greatest weapon that we have against all the grim assaults of the enemy: victory is ours in Christ. He has overcome the world, and thus we can be of good cheer (John 16:33). When the battles and trials are long and dark and sore, we can go through all things with a song, for we are not engaged in the long defeat. Rather, we are engaged in the long triumph.

When you pray, remember your deliverance. Remember your salvation. Know that you can call upon your Father in Heaven, and He will deliver you, and there is nothing that the darkness can do about it, for it is absolutely powerless before the light (John 1:5). Remember that you belong to Christ, and Christ has already won. There is now, therefore, no condemnation, no darkness, no evil, no failure or fear that can separate you from the love of the Father and the victory of the Son. We do not pray "deliver us from evil" in vain hope but rather in confident surety. We are children of the King and brothers of the Victor. His name is above every name, and His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. His will will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, and He does not leave us alone with the darkness without and within but provides strength and deliverance for all who call upon His name. Amen, and amen.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2011

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