This is a translation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”. Lewis connection follows:

"Scripture: “Lead us not into temptation” (Luke: 11, 14)


"The word temptation has a twofold meaning; in Deuteronomy 8, 2 it says:” in order to test you”, – and in this sense we understand that God tested Abraham” (Gen: 22, 1). From the very cradle of mankind God always tests people. Already in paradise we have the first test of our first parents in the knowledge of the tree of good and evil. But here already we see a completely different meaning of this word, when the devil tempts man in order to get him to sin. This type of temptation can never come from God, and this becomes clear to us when we read: “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He himself tempts no one” (James: 1, 13). But when someone “is tempted, carried away and enticed by his own evil desires” (James: 1, 14), this proves that he no longer abides in the spirit of Christ, because those who belong to Him “have crucified their flesh with its passions and evil desires” (Gal: 5, 24).

"But as soon as a child of God has betrayed his place at the foot of the cross, he can easily be seduced by his passions and evil desires. Our internal evil cravings must disappear. While they are still alive, our total submission to the spirit of God is not complete. On the other hand we read in this chapter: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under temptation because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James: 1, 12).

"God in his love sends this temptation so that the work of patience may mature and reach perfection. For this reason, “receive it with great joy whenever you face temptations of various kinds” (James: 1, 2). “Because He Himself endured when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Heb: 2, 18).

“In all external circumstances, in all our relations with others, even in all the trifles of daily life, we must pray that the Lord guide us and hold us by His hand, protecting us from everything evil. We will be safe only when we realize our constant dependence on God. We will be strong through our weakness when we seek support and strength in his omnipotence. Even if temptation overwhelms us from all sides, let us constantly repeat these words: ”lead us not into temptation”, remembering that the Lord holds in His hands everything that relates to us, and that He will not permit us to be tempted beyond our strength if our prayer to Him for assistance is the beginning and the basis of our every step.”

Just like in the meditation above, in “Letters to Malcolm”, Lewis speaks about the two-fold meaning of the original Greek word for “temptation” in the “Our Father”, i.e. that it also includes the meaning of “trial”. Our Lord tells us to ask the Father not to lead us into “trials”, not to “test us”. I always think of this in praying the “Our Father”. But the next sentence in that prayer is, of course, "but deliver us from evil (or “the evil one”), i.e. if we need to suffer in order to protect us from sin, let it be.


“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)