Q. 106. What do we pray for in the sixth petition?
A. In the sixth petition, which is, And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, we pray that God would either keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted.
This one is big. I know I often want to avoid sin throughout the day but then an angry thought will go past my mind or I will say something without thinking and I've sinned. How do I prevent this?
I must pray to God to keep me from sin and to deliver me from me when I'm faced with a decision to sin. Most of the sins we commit are unintentional, but they are still sins and they are still worth of God's judgment. These are mentioned in Leviticus 5:17 and under the Old Covenant community of Israel there was a whole protection and sacrificial system for it.
Jeremy Pierre wrote about "Involuntary Sins" in last month's Tabletalk magazine. He talked about trained instincts and fighter pilots. They are trained to make quick automatic decisions that come from a long time of mental preparation and practice. "The countless little decisions they make in the cockpit are automatic, but that doesn't mean they're involuntary."
In the same way the sins that we "accidentally" do are also voluntary no matter how automatic. Since Jesus has died for the sins of every believer, in the New Covenant Church, we retrain our brains through praying that the Lord keeps us from sin and also to read from his Bible every day. We must remember 2 Timothy 3:16 about Scripture rebuking us, training us, and renewing us. You will know what he wants and how to ask for it if you do not neglect this vital practice of exploring the Scriptures every day. Without this, your soul will suffer and perhaps even die. This is how you put your trained instincts under a new regimen.