We’re taking a deeeeep dive into the model prayer Jesus gave his followers:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
Today’s focus: FORGIVENESS.
Let Jesus’ words roll around in your soul: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
Jesus stressed the importance of this concept immediately following the prayer, when he said this:
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)
Once again, Jesus cuts right to the very heart of the matter. As a large-brained theologian named John Stott put it:
Once our eyes have been opened to see the enormity of our offence against God, the injuries which others have done to us appear by comparison extremely trifling. If, on the other hand, we have an exaggerated view of the offenses of others, it proves that we have minimized our own.
Ask the Spirit to bring to mind anyone you need to forgive. Are you harboring any grudges? Holding on to any hurts? Ask the Spirit to help you forgive all those who have wronged you. Even your worst enemies. Now. Please.
Then ask to be forgiven yourself. Here’s a great model of confession from David, who was called “a man after God’s own heart” despite the fact that he was an adulterer and murderer. Pray through it with all your heart, rejoicing in the fact that you are 100% forgiven through Jesus.
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned.
[SPECIFY YOUR SINS HERE]
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.
(Psalm 51:1-4, 10-12)
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Anastazzo)