I have received quite a few requests to clarify what the Pope has stated on changing the Lord’s Prayer (Because I lead a ministry based on the Bible?). I am not Catholic and do not speak for or even care what is being stated in the Vatican. But for clarification purposes only, here is what the controversy is about, and it has to do with the average Christian not understanding the original Greek. Likewise, we have a prayer based on a 500-year-old beautiful KJV that used English far different than what is used today. So, we have some misconceptions.
It comes down to the verse that says, “lead us not into temptation,” that appears to state that God is the One Who places us into sin. That is not what is going on in the Text.
Luke 11:1-4, KJV:
“When you pray, say: “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”
Luke 11:1-4, ESV:
“Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
Both follow the Greek; however, English has a very different means of grammar and word order that does not transfer very well here. Thus, a tiny bit of exegesis needs to be done to extract the precise meaning as intended from the original language.
Do not lead us into temptation means help us not sin when we are tested or going through trials and help us through them (Psalm 141:3-4).
This comes down to trusting in God and not in ourselves. God may test us, but He will not allow temptations beyond our ability to resist (Deut. 8:2; Luke 4:1; 1 Cor. 10:13). Trials are a primary means for growth and maturity. It also does not mean to keep us from them altogether. If that were so, we would never grow spiritually.
This is why some paraphrases like the Living Bible state: don’t allow us to be tempted and the updated New Living Translation states, don’t let us yield to temptation. And the Message gives us, Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
This model of prayer (as all models must be) places the emphasis on God and His glory, not on us! This is called ‘brevity’ (brief and sincere), that we ask that God be glorified before we can seek our request in a clear and concise manner and our trust in Him. This model is one of intimacy, not a ‘business model’ as the pagans and Greeks saw prayer.
Our takeaway? The more time we spend in prayer the more we will grow in your Christian formation. However, be sure you are not praying in circles with vain repetitions (Jesus point here). Rather, cover more ground with requests for others and praise for God.
See the exegetical notes and Bible study and our Theological Note on Our Pattern for Prayer, http://70030.netministry.com/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=34628&columnid=3803