deliverance

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“…but deliver us from evil…”

Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen (Galatians 1:3-5).

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Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:13-18).

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But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

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deliver us from evil

we pray

piously

while secretly shivering deliciously

at the thought

tantalizing wisps of brimstone

a little touch of naughty

surely just a taste won’t

no one will know if i…

then over our heads

in trouble again we fling up our hands

and cry

why don’t you save me

why me

but once again on firm ground

we tiptoe

peeking over the edge again

just dipping in a toe

danger is the spice of life

and anyway

if it were really bad

it wouldn’t be here

so temptingly

because i can resist anything

except temptation

so we lay down our sword and shield

and stoop to take just one sip

while the water of life

pours out wasted

behind our willful backs

and the Lifeguard sighs and prepares

for action

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I do not understand what I do.

For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 

For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 

For I do not do the good I want to do,

but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 

What a wretched man I am!

Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 

Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

(Romans 7:15-25, selected)

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