Matthew 6:13—Why should we pray that God would not lead us into temptation when God cannot tempt anyone?

Problem: The Bible says emphatically, “God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone” (James 1:13). Why, then, does Jesus ask us here to pray, “and lead us not into temptation”?

Solution: God can test us, but He cannot tempt us to sin. When we are tempted, we are drawn away by our own lusts (see comments on James 1:2). So, God should be invoked to order our lives in such away that we are not led into situations in which we will be tempted. In other words, this is a plea for providential guidance through the mine field of sin in this fleshly sojourn. It is a request of God that He help us to “make no provision for the flesh” (Rom. 13:14).

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.