“’And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’” (Matthew 6:13)
“Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, ‘Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!’ And God granted him what he requested.” (1 Chronicles 4:10)
Prayer to be delivered from evil and harm is certainly scriptural and unquestionably potent in my opinion. But how would one know? After all, the proof of the effectiveness of this kind of prayer is mostly in what doesn’t transpire. How do you tally all the things that didn’t happen, all the evil avoided, all the harm averted? Pretty hard.
So be it. I’m quite willing to settle for that—it’s an okay trade-off to me. I have a strong suspicion that if I actually realized all that would have happened to me and my family without prayer I’d be shocked. Considering some of the evil and harm I’ve encountered, I wish I had prayed even more.
Let’s discuss the HOW of this kind of prayer but first let’s get something out of the way. We are not being self-indulgent by praying to be delivered from evil. Some people seem to have that mindset but I hope you don’t. We are not spiritual wimps for wanting to avoid harm and all the pain associated with it. It was Jesus who taught us in the Lord’s Prayer to ask our Heavenly Father for that very thing. And as for Jabez, note that God “granted him what he requested” as if he delighted in his request.
Now to the nitty-gritty. Besides getting up every morning and issuing a general “Lord please deliver me from evil,” is there a way to be more specific? I’ll share some of my own strategies with you for keeping evil at bay. I’ll give you a couple of examples but you can apply this specific kind of prayer to any area in your life.
Do you always ask for traveling mercies when you take a trip? Lots of people do but did you ever pray expressly for protection against those things that could ruin it?
Ask God to post angels in the front and back and around your vehicle. When I’m flying I always ask the Lord to position an angel on each wing to lift us smoothly up and safely back down and to hold the plane steady while in flight.
When driving I ask for alertness but I also pray that anyone who is not driving safely will be kept far from my piece of the roadway while I’m on it. This includes any driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or any who are too fatigued.
Road rage: I don’t want to encounter it so I pray specifically for every driver who shares the road with me. I pray for relaxation and peace and I stand against anxiety and stress that would lead to aggressive driving.
What about obstacles? I watch for warning roadway signs such as “Watch for Deer” or “Falling Rock” and then I specifically pray against those things. I’ve seen the damage a deer hitting a car can cause because my daughter once had her car totaled by one. She was safe but it reminded me to add that kind of prayer to future trips.
Praying blessings on fellow travelers is also a hedge of protection. Sometimes I pray for each person who passes me or that I pass on the highway or for each passenger on the plane with me. Someone who is being hit with blessings is not so likely to cause me any trouble.
Uncovering plots: On planes and in airports I particularly pray for any terrorist plots to be uncovered and for anyone with evil intent to be thwarted in their plans.
We can’t be with our children at all times but our prayer can be with them every minute. We can pray strongly and effectively that anything evil will give them a wide berth.
Pray not only that their friends will be godly and have good influence but that “bad” friends (or bullies even) will not be attracted or want anything to do with your kids.
If predators are anywhere in the vicinity of your children, pray that they will not notice your child--that your child will be invisible to them. That those kinds of people will move out of your neighborhood and stay far away from any school your child attends.
Pray that your child will not find evil attractive and in case they do, that all plans to get in trouble of any kind will fall apart and go nowhere. I have a friend whose mother prayed very successfully for her along those lines. Here is that story if you’d like to read it: Thorns & Walls
If your children have access to the Internet pray that no bad websites will come up for them (even accidentally) and that they won’t notice any sleazy ads or be drawn into disreputable social networks. You want it to be easy for them to encounter good and near impossible for them to stumble upon evil.
Simply think about every area of your child’s life and recognize what could make it the worst-case scenario and then pray specifically against it.
When you pray to be delivered from evil you are putting into practice the old adage: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You will know how effective your prayers are when NOTHING HAPPENS. The less evil and harm are manifest in your life, the more successful you’ll know you have been.
Each night when you get into bed, thank God for everything that didn’t happen—all the evil he protected you and your loved ones from. It’s a prayer he delights in answering as much for you as he did for Jabez. Then fall asleep peacefully, confident in these words, “I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!’” (Psalm 91:2)
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