The final two petitions in the Lord’s prayer are closer in concern than any other two petitions. “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” are certainly related, but standards, as defined by His will, can be obeyed by individuals without defining a whole group. His kingdom is broader and includes much more than personal observance of His law, it includes corporate ceremony and festival of His lordship.
Verse 13, though, presents two sides of the same coin. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” The second line clarifies the first.
If we have sinned against God, we ask Him to forgive us. He reveals the standard, and He bestows forgiveness. We also ask Him to keep us out of sin. Likewise, only He has the power to do so.
Because we have the rest of the New Testament, we know that the Lord’s brother, James, wrote, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one” (James 1:13). However, it does not follow that we cannot be tempted at all. We are in a battle against evil. There are tempters. And God knows their website address.
We pray that He would not cause us, as His sheep, to enter into a place with devouring wolves. Instead, “deliver us from evil.” We pray for divine rescue. This assumes that we want to do His will, that we want to have fewer debts of sin, that we recognize and reject enticements to serve someone other than Him.
And it may be very personal. “Deliver us from evil” could be translated “deliver us from the evil one,” as ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ specifies a definite evil, perhaps a singular evil. Even if we are not tempted by the Tempter, by the devil himself, He is the prince now at work in the sons of disobedience. We ought to resist him, and that begins in prayer.