LORD’S DAY 52
- What is the sixth petition?
“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one;” that is, since we are so weak in ourselves that we cannot stand a moment,1 and besides, our deadly enemies, the devil,2 the world,3 and our own flesh,4 assail us without ceasing, be pleased to preserve and strengthen us by the power of Your Holy Spirit, that we may make firm stand against them and not be overcome in this spiritual warfare,5 until finally complete victory is ours.6
 Jn. 15:5; Ps. 103:14–16.  1 Pet. 5:8–9; Eph. 6:12–13.  Jn. 15:19.  Rom. 7:23; Gal. 5:17.  Matt. 26:41; Mk. 13:33.  1 Th ess. 3:13; 5:23–24; *2 Cor. 12:7.
- How do you close this prayer?
“For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever;” that is, all this we ask of You, because as our King, having power over all things, You are willing and able to give us all good;1 and that thereby not we, but Your holy name may be glorified for ever.2
 Rom. 10:11–12; 2 Pet. 2:9.  Jn. 14:13; Ps. 115:1.
- What is the meaning of the word “Amen”?
“Amen” means: so shall it truly and surely be. For my prayer is much more certainly heard of God than I feel in my heart that I desire these things of Him.1
 2 Cor. 1:20; 2 Tim. 2:13; *Ps. 145:18–19.
Lord’s Day 52, looking at the last petition of the Lord’s Prayer, recognizes a vitally important truth. We are constantly assailed in our faith from all sides, and of ourselves are never strong enough to withstand it. Without God’s divine aid, we would certainly abandon the faith.
The Bible is clear in many passages that the crown of life belongs to those who persevere to the end (James 1:12, Rev. 2:11, 17; 1 Cor. 9:24, for example). The popular conception of “once saved, always saved,” by which is meant the idea that a one-time confession of faith in a moment of sincerity is enough to guarantee salvation regardless of what I do for the rest of my life, is not a Biblical concept. The Reformed doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints is a different idea, that all those who are elect in God will, by God’s power, persevere to the end. The perseverance to the end is necessary for salvation. Thus we pray this prayer.
What we are praying when we say, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” is that God in His sovereign providence never allow us into a situation or a position in life where our faith would be utterly overthrown. We are asking that though we know He allows us into situations where we will stumble, that He not permit us to utterly fall.
We also know that God has ordained means to sustain us in the faith, the instruments of the preaching and reading of the Word, the Sacraments and prayer. Praying this prayer does not imply passivity in our spiritual walk, any more than thanking God for giving us our daily bread precludes getting up in the morning and going to work for a paycheck. God works most often through the instruments He has put in place. So if we pray this, implied in this prayer is that God also grant us the faith and the wisdom to make use of these instruments He has given us, and then in faith we ought to go do just that- to read our Bibles, to hear the preaching of the word, to make use of the teaching ministry of the church, to make use of the sacraments in obedience, and to be praying without ceasing for the uplifting power of God. In this way, we can expect that God will in fact keep His promise, as He keeps all the promises He gives us and as He always gives us whatever He commands us to pray for. He will preserve us against our own sinful weakness, the seductive lure of the world, and the lies of the devil.
And finally, we end by again acknowledging that our goal in all things is directed God-ward. It is His glory and power we desire. It is the full implementation of His rule over all things that we yearn for. It is His omnipotence and benevolence we are counting on, that as a mighty God He is able to do all things for us, and as a faithful Father He is willing.
The final word in the prayer, so often passed over without thought, deserves a comment. The word “amen” means “surely.” It is an acknowledgement of belief, an act of faith. When we say that word we are, or should be, expressing our confidence that God does in fact hear our prayers, and thus our prayers are offered in faith. Whenever we say that word we should be reminded that not only is our prayer a praise to God and a request made to Him, it is also a confession of faith. It is a prayer asked in confidence, never doubting (James 1:5-6), truly believing that God is a good God and can be counted upon to do what He says He is going to do. And He would not teach us to pray these things in vain. He would not exhort us to ask Him for these things if He had no intention of giving them to us, for He is a loving and faithful Father who would not provoke His children to wrath.
The statement “amen” is thus a confession that I truly trust God to endeavor for me. I trust God that He will save me. I trust that He will forgive my sins for the merits of Jesus Christ, that He will lead me in all righteousness, that He will provide for me whatever I need, and that He will secure me in the faith, steering me through all the rocks and reefs that would easily sink my boat in this stormy life were it not for His faithful care, the pilot of my soul. How appropriate that we end our examination of the Heidelberg Catechism, itself a confession of faith, on this note—on our confidence that belonging to our faithful Savior Jesus Christ is indeed our only comfort in life and in death.