The sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer can be misleading. We know that God does not tempt us as evidenced in James 1:13. If this is the case, what does the phase “lead us not into temptation” mean in reference to God?
The Greek text reveals a clue. The word “temptation” can also be translated as “trials.” The kind of trials that Jesus is referring to here are trials that we are brought into by God to test and affirm our faith. There is a constructive aspect to the idea of trials vs. temptations. Temptations are specifically designed and send by Satan to entice us to shift our allegiance from God to him.
There is also an eschatological element to this as well. Jesus encourages the disciples to ask God not to bring them into or protect them from in the time of tribulation. Much like Jesus asks that the cup would pass from Him leading up to the crucifixion, He is encouraging the disciples to do the same thing.