And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
Asking for forgiveness is an important part to prayer. Even better is to not need to ask for forgiveness at all!
Unfortunately, we often forget to ask to avoid temptation. We remember to ask God for what we want and to provide what we need. We’ll remember to ask for forgiveness. But then it never even occurs to us to ask that God would help us to resist temptation and thus avoid the need to seek forgiveness in the first place.
The benefits of avoiding temptation don’t even have to be mentioned. When we ask God to help us avoid temptation, we must really want to resist it however. For example, someone who desires to give up alcohol shouldn’t ask God to help them resist temptation and then spend the night at the bar with their friends. There must be not only the desire to stop sinning, but a desire to stay away from areas of temptation.
Of course this is easier said than done. It’s best to think of this prayer as a long process. Rarely will someone stop a particular sin overnight or quit cold turkey. But the more a person tries to stop on their own, the more help God will be in giving them the strength to resist temptation and to avoid temptation altogether.