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Christian Prayer

685

2849

Such a battle and such a victory become possible only

through prayer. It is by his prayer that Jesus vanquishes the

tempter, both at the outset of his public mission and in the ultimate

struggle of his agony.

159

In this petition to our heavenly Father,

Christ unites us to his battle and his agony. He urges us to

vigilance

of the heart in communion with his own. Vigilance is “custody of

the heart,” and Jesus prayed for us to the Father: “Keep them in

your name.”

160

The Holy Spirit constantly seeks to awaken us to

keep watch.

161

Finally, this petition takes on all its dramatic mean­

ing in relation to the last temptation of our earthly battle; it asks for

final perseverance.

“Lo, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who

is awake.”

162

VII.

“B

ut

D

eliver

U

s

from

E

vil

2850

The last petition to our Father is also included in Jesus’

prayer: “I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I

ask you to protect them from the evil one.”

163

It touches each of us

personally, but it is always “we” who pray, in communion with the

whole Church, for the deliverance of the whole human family. The

Lord’s Prayer continually opens us to the range of God’s economy

of salvation. Our interdependence in the drama of sin and death is

turned into solidarity in the Body of Christ, the “communion of

saints.”

164

2851

In this petition, evil is not an abstraction, but refers to a

person, Satan, the Evil One, the angel who opposes God. The devil

(

dia-bolos

) is the one who “throws himself across” God’s plan and

his work of salvation accomplished in Christ.

2852

“A murderer from the beginning, . . . a liar and the father

of lies,” Satan is “the deceiver of the whole world.”

165

Through

him sin and death entered the world and by his definitive defeat

all creation will be “freed from the corruption of sin and death.”

166

Now “we know that anyone born of God does not sin, but He who

was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.

159 Cf.

Mt

4:1-11; 26:36-44.

160

Jn

17:11; cf.

Mk

13:9, 23, 33-37; 14:38;

Lk

12:35-40.

161 Cf.

1 Cor

16:13;

Col

4:2;

1 Thess

5:6;

1 Pet

5:8.

162

Rev

16:15.

163

Jn

17:15.

164 Cf.

RP

16.

165

Jn

8:44;

Rev

12:9.

166

Roman Missal,

Eucharistic Prayer IV, 122.

540, 612

2612

162

309

391