My blogging friend PeaceBang has a little discussion on the meaning of the phrase "lead us not into temptation" on her blog.
I looked back at the sermon I preached this Lent. And I tried to post this, but her website ate it. Twice. So I'm just putting it here.
I preached a Lord's Prayer series this spring, looking for clues as to what Jesus might have meant by these phrases.
So this "lead us not into temptation" phrase sent me to the story of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness (a great story about the human condition) AND to Gethsemane, the night he was arrested. He asked the disciples to keep watch with him, and when he found that they'd fallen asleep, he woke them and said, "Pray that you not be led into temptation." The same phrase. And clearly, here, it means pray that you not close your eyes to the suffering in front of you. Stay awake and be a part of Christ's suffering.
Couldn't it be that that's what Jesus wants us to pray, too: "Even though it is painful, don't let me close my eyes to the suffering around me. Keep me awake, so I can participate in what God is doing in the world?"
That's what I think.