Lead us not into temptation

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The Greek

Mt 6:13 and Lk 11:4
και μη εισενεγκης ημας εις πειρασμον
"and do not subject us to the final test" (Mt 6:13, NAB).


εἰσφέρω means "to lead" or "to lead into."

The same root ("to bear or carry") enters into "metaphor," "Christopher," and "inference," among many other words.


Peirasmos means "trial," "test," or "temptation."

6:13 "And lead us not into temptation."
26:41 "Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
14:38 "Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."
4:13 "When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time."
8:13 "Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of trial."
11:4 "do not subject us to the final test."
20:19 "I served the Lord with all humility and with the tears and trials that came to me because of the plots of the Jews ..."
1 Corinthians
10:13 "No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it."
4:14 "and you did not show disdain or contempt because of the trial caused you by my physical condition, but rather you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus."
1 Timothy
6:9 "Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into ruin and destruction."
3:8 "Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion in the day of testing in the desert ..."
1:2-3 "Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."
1:12 "Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation, for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life that he promised to those who love him."
1 Peter
4:12 "Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you."
2 Peter
2:9 "then the Lord knows how to rescue the devout from trial and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment."
3:10 "Because you have kept my message of endurance, I will keep you safe in the time of trial that is going to come to the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth."

Commentary in the Catechism

Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2846-2849

This petition goes to the root of the preceding one, for our sins result from our consenting to temptation; we therefore ask our Father not to "lead" us into temptation. It is difficult to translate the Greek verb used [εισενεγκης] by a single English word: the Greek means both "do not allow us to enter into temptation" and "do not let us yield to temptation."[1] "God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one";[2] on the contrary, he wants to set us free from evil. We ask him not to allow us to take the way that leads to sin. We are engaged in the battle "between flesh and spirit"; this petition implores the Spirit of discernment and strength.
The Holy Spirit makes us discern between trials, which are necessary for the growth of the inner man,[3] and temptation, which leads to sin and death.[4] We must also discern between being tempted and consenting to temptation. Finally, discernment unmasks the lie of temptation, whose object appears to be good, a "delight to the eyes" and desirable,[5] when in reality its fruit is death.
God does not want to impose the good, but wants free beings. . . . There is a certain usefulness to temptation. No one but God knows what our soul has received from him, not even we ourselves. But temptation reveals it in order to teach us to know ourselves, and in this way we discover our evil inclinations and are obliged to give thanks for the goods that temptation has revealed to us.[6]
"Lead us not into temptation" implies a decision of the heart: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. . . . No one can serve two masters."[7] "If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit."[8] In this assent to the Holy Spirit the Father gives us strength. "No testing has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, so that you may be able to endure it."[9]
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.[10] 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."[11] The Holy Spirit constantly seeks to awaken us to keep watch.[12] Finally, this petition takes on all its dramatic meaning 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."[13]


  1. Cf. Mt 26:41.
  2. Jas 1:13.
  3. Cf. Lk 8:13-15; Acts 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; 2 Tim 3:12.
  4. Cf. Jas 1:14-15.
  5. Cf. Gen 3:6.
  6. Origen, De orat. 29:PG 11,544CD.
  7. Mt 6:21, 24.
  8. Gal 5:25.
  9. 1 Cor 10:13.
  10. Cf. Mt 4:1-11; 26:36-44.
  11. Jn 17:11; cf. Mk 13:9,23,33-37; 14:38; Lk 12:35-40.
  12. Cf. 1 Cor 16:13; Col 4:2; 1 Thess 5:6; 1 Pet 5:8.
  13. Rev 16:15.

"Pray not to be put to the test."

Agony in the Garden.

Last supper in Luke (?): "You will be sifted like wheat, but I have prayed for you."

Pray to overcome temptation

let us not succumb to temptation

do not desert us when we are tempted

we need your help to turn away from sin

May we follow you when you lead us away from temptation.

Lead us out of temptation.

God does not tempt us

James 1:13

13 No one experiencing temptation should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and he himself tempts no one.

14 Rather, each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.

15 Then desire conceives and brings forth sin, and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death.