Q. In the Lord’s Prayer, there is a verse that says, “Lead us not into temptation”. Since James 1:13 says that God doesn’t tempt anyone, what is the correct interpretation of this verse?
A. The literal translation of Matt. 6:13 is ” Lead us not into temptation, but deliver (rescue) us from the evil one.” I believe the intent of the verse is to convey the full extent of our desire for the Lord’s protection.
In James 1:13-14 the Lord’s brother was warning us not to blame God when we’re being tempted, because God doesn’t tempt anyone. We’re to understand it’s our own evil desires that cause us to be enticed.
I think the key to Matt. 6:13 is the use of the Greek word “apo” which is translated “from” in the phrase “deliver us from the evil one.” The full meaning of the Greek word encompasses the time, place, and origin of the object it modifies.
When you put these two thoughts together, I think what we’re really praying is that God would not allow us to be drawn into a situation where we’d be tempted, but that He would keep us so far from Satan’s influence that we’d never be anywhere near the time, place, or origin of his evil schemes.