There is no other place to be in prayer, but in the throes of this spiritual warfare, and it is the place we are called by the Spirit to be, however uncomfortably, with and in the space of Jesus. For Jesus does not promise us a quiet life, but rather his mysterious peace and presence in the eye of the storm.
Here we learn that forgiveness is humanly impossible, because only God can do it in us; here we learn that our own fights with temptation are humanly hopeless, unless also handed over to God: yet in God, the donut problem, the sex problem, and even finally – God help us – the pride and vainglory problem, find their denouement and their resolution. It is all a matter of the great “asking of asking” which is prayer itself. We only have to turn, again and again, into the space of Jesus, and pray “Our Father …”
So when we pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” we sum up the whole prayer of Jesus, in all its simplicity and power, and stand with him afresh in that ecstasy of understanding that is the space of forgiven sinners before the God who is Abba.