"And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil" (Matthew 6:13, NASB).
Sometimes I forget about Satan. He usually works in such subtle ways that I fail to notice. Then something happens to remind me that Satan exists and that he is a powerful leader of strong spiritual forces.
I remembered Satan yesterday after hearing about the mass murders that took place on the campus of Virginia Tech. A young man chose to murder over 30 fellow students and professors. I do not know what was going through that man's mind, but I recognized the influence of the one called a "murderer from the beginning" by Jesus.
When we returned home from our Monday night Bible study, Janet showed me an e-mail from the prayer ministry of the Jenks Church (our former congregation and a supporter of one of our ministers at the Contact Church of Christ). In the e-mail, Lynessa Yeats forwarded a prayer request from her brother-in-law at a Church of Christ in Connecticut. The daughter of one of his congregation's elders had been attacked, beaten, raped, and cut for 19 hours by a "Satanic thug" (as one newpaper apparently described the man) over the weekend. Then, the thug left the young college student in her apartment as he set it on fire. She is in intensive care at a hospital in New York, and we have been praying for her since learning of her situation.
Satan is real, and sometimes we can see that truth with perfect clarity.
Jesus knew it, too. He dealt with him face-to-face. And he knew that we would need the help of God, so he taught us to pray, "Deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen" (Matthew 6:14, NASB). Thankfully, God is real, too.