Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors
[letting go of both the wrong and the resentment].
‘And do not lead us into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
[For Yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.]
For if you forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.
~Matthew 6:9-15 (Amplified Bible)
Jesus amplifies what he says about forgiveness in his teaching on prayer. How foundational forgiveness is in God’s kingdom! First and foremost, I am a prideful sinner in need of salvation that comes only through the One who lovingly teaches me how to pray. What a humbling reminder these words are of my humanity.
Secondly, I can choose to forgive others but cannot do so without the power of the Father’s gracious assurance that as I seek to forgive others I am forgiven also. Clarence Jordan paints a beautiful picture of just how relational our life of faith is:
One meets the Father one one’s way back
from being reconciled with his brother.
May you and I prayerfully meet the Father, by humbly seeking to forgive as we have been forgiven.