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January 04, 2022

4 Ways God Answers Our Prayers for Deliverance

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The last petition of the Lord’s Prayer asks God to “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13).

God answers this last petition, like all the others, by His grace, and the word ‘grace’ means something undeserved that is freely given. God delivers us by common grace, special grace, restoring grace, and saving grace. And grasping the varieties of God’s marvelous grace will help us to see how God works in our world and in our lives.

1. Common Grace – God’s kindness to all people including those who defy Him.

Why do so many unbelieving people live peaceful, happy, and productive lives? Why is it that those who live at a distance from God are often kind, patient, and considerate? The answer lies in common grace: God’s kindness to all people including those who defy Him.

Our Lord described common grace in Matthew 5:44–45:

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Every good gift comes from the hand of God and that includes the good gifts enjoyed by those who do not believe. The blessings of love and family; the creative gifts of music and art; the discoveries of science and medicine, and the brilliant minds that led to them… Where did all this good come from? It came from God, in whom the person who enjoys these gifts may not even believe. That’s common grace.

The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. – Psalm 145:9

In His kindness to all, God gives what is good, and He restrains what is evil. However bad this world is, it could be worse.  The worst of people are not as the demons of hell, and the reason for this is common grace.

When God loosens the restraint of common grace, it is a sign of His wrath. Romans 1 speaks about how God may give sinners up to the evil they persist in choosing (v24, 26, 28). The point here is that God’s usual way is to restrain the worst in us for the common good.

God restrains through conscience, which is His gift to us, and He restrains through government, which is also a gracious gift from God (Romans 13:1-7).  Conscience and government can both be corrupted, but any conscience and any government is better than none.

So when we pray, ‘deliver us from evil,’ we are asking God for common grace. ‘Lord, in your mercy restrain the worst in us, in our community, in our country, and in our world. Raise up people of good will, and grant that peace and justice will prevail in Your world.’

2. Special Grace – God’s kindness when we are tested.

Here is something very wonderful that is yours as a believer: God gives special help for particular trials in especially difficult times.

Paul describes this from his own experience. There were times when he had plenty, and there were times when he was in need, and for these times, God gave Him special help. “I can do all things through Him [Christ] who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). God gave strength to match the trial that Paul was facing, and God will do the same for you. He will give you all that you need for all that you face, especially in a time of great testing, temptation, or trial.

You see the same thing in 2 Corinthians 12 where Paul speaks about a great trial that he endured over a long period of time. He does not tell us what this was, but he describes it as a ‘thorn in my flesh,’ indicating that it was always with him, and that it was very painful. God did not take this thorn away, but He gave special grace to bear it.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

When you are feel that you are stretched to your limit, God’s grace will be sufficient for you. God will infuse His strength into your weakness, so that you will be able to endure. That’s special grace.  An old hymn describes this well:

All the way my Savior leads me,
cheers each winding path I tread
Gives me grace for every trial,
feeds me with the living bread. [1]

3. Restoring Grace – God’s kindness when we have failed.

On the night He was betrayed, Jesus said to Peter, “Before the rooster crows you will deny me three times” (Matthew 26:34). Our Lord knew that Peter would fall into temptation, but Jesus gave him this promise:

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers – Luke 22:31-32

Jesus knew that Peter would fail, but He prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail. And that’s why sin did not have the last word in Peter’s life. The prayer of Jesus was answered. Peter “turned again.” That’s restoring grace.

Jesus died for sinners like Peter and like us. He rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, where He intercedes for us. He speaks to the Father and prays on our behalf, just as He did for Peter. That’s why sin will never have the final word in your life. Like Peter, you will fail, but like Peter, you will ‘turn again,’ and when you repent, you will be restored. Why? Because Christ has prayed for you. Like Peter, you may fall into temptation, but Christ will never let you go.

There is a wonderful verse in Micah that will help you when temptation overcomes you, especially if you feel defeated by your own repeated failure.

Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me. – Micah 7:8

That’s restoring grace! The Lord is the light in your darkness. The Lord is your shepherd and He will restore your soul. The enemy may have knocked you down, but by God’s grace you will rise up forgiven and restored. Sin can never have the last word in a believer’s life. Christ intercedes for you, and God’s grace will never let you go.

4. Saving Grace – God’s kindness in bringing us to faith and repentance.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God – Ephesians 2:8

When you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, God brings you into an entirely new relationship with Himself, and as a child of God you will have more than common grace. You have received saving grace, and when you are tested, God will give you special grace, and when you fail God will give you restoring grace.

When you have this new relationship with God, you begin a new journey in which all of the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer will be fulfilled in your life.

You will have a new desire that God’s name will be honored because He is your Father, and you have discovered His great love.

You will have a new hope because of the coming of His kingdom to which you belong.

You will have a new strength to do His will.

You will have a new confidence because you know your Father will provide for you.

You will have a new peace because you know that Christ has forgiven you.

And You will have a new security because you know God will deliver you.

All of these are gifts of God’s grace, and when these gifts are yours, you will be able to say with all of God’s people,

Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.
Through many dangers toils and snares I have already come
Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home. [2]

[1] Fanny J. Crosby (1820-1915), Hymn: “All the Way My Savior Leads Me,” 1875.

[2] John Newton, Hymn: “Amazing Grace,” 1772.

This article is adapted from the sermon “God’s Deliverance” in the series on the Lord’s Prayer, Six Things to Ask of God.


Colin Smith

Founder & Teaching Pastor

Colin Smith is the Senior Pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the Founder and Teaching Pastor for Open the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.
Colin Smith is the Senior Pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the Founder and Teaching Pastor for Open the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.