This Sunday I’m preaching on Lord’s Day 52 of the Heidelberg Catechism and the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” As part of my preparatory study, I’ve been reading Thomas Watson’s The Lord’s Prayer. Watson is my favourite Puritan — eminently readable and filled with Scripture-shaped wisdom and insights. On the sixth petition, it’s no different. He spends several pages discussing by what means we may prevail over Satan’s temptations. Here’s my summary (Watson goes into detail with each one, so if you want to follow up, I’d encourage to pick it up and read it):
1) Get into the communion of saints, avoid solitariness.
2) Beware of melancholy.
3) Study sobriety with respect to the world.
4) Be always on guard, watch against Satan’s wiles and subtleties.
5) Beware of idleness – the bird that sits still gets shot.
6) Be accountable to a godly friend.
7) Make use of the Word – it’s a two-edged sword: one for your lusts, one for Satan!
8) Be careful of your own heart that it does not deceive you into sin. Bernard: everyone is Satan to himself.
9) Flee the occasions of sin.
10) Make use of faith.
11) Be much in prayer.
12) Pursue humility.
13) Do not enter into a dispute with Satan. He’s had far too much practice and you have little.
14) Put on Christian fortitude.
15) Actively call in the help of others.
16) Make use of all the encouragements we can.
From Thomas Watson, The Lord’s Prayer (Banner of Truth, 1993 reprint), 294-299.