This post is our fifth in a series of blogs encouraging our church during our PRAY40 initiative beginning on March 1st through April 9th. Join us each week in prayer on Wednesday nights and download our mobile app to receive daily prayer updates as we seek God together in prayer this spring.
Perhaps in all of the Lord’s Prayer, this verse causes us to look most inwardly at our own hearts. We can be quick to judge the actions of others, without ever stopping to take the log out of our own eye. This prayer invokes in us certain humility, enabling us to view the great grace we have received through Christ.
Lord, Forgive Us Our Debts…
This is a powerful prayer, because it causes us to live in the tension between the “already” and “not yet.” We are already fully forgiven through the cross of Christ. In Jesus, we are holy and blameless in the Father’s sight. This begs the question, though: why do we need to ask for forgiveness if we are already forgiven? The answer is this: As believers, we are not yet in heaven with God where temptation, sin, and sorrow will be ‘no more’.
In this life, our sin can never alter our position in Christ, but sin is able to distort our relationship with the Father. The harm in our own everyday sins, small and large, is that they twist us spiritually and they also twist the way we see ourselves and our God. Sin ultimately deteriorates our communication with God. We can’t achieve a sinless state in this life. But confessing our sin daily to God our Father is the first step toward restoration in our relationships and growth in our faith.
We are desperately in need to be forgiven daily in order to remind us that God will be faithful to sanctify us and complete the work He began in our lives. Our forgiveness and our sanctification have come at a high price: it cost Jesus his perfect life and it took the power of his resurrection. When we confess our need for forgiveness, we are able to see clearly the profound grace of God to His children. This great grace compels us to love the Lord deeply, and propels us to love others.
When we fully comprehend the debt Christ has paid for us, pardoning the debts of others becomes much easier. Withholding forgiveness to another may seem gratifying. But in the end, if we hold on to resentment it gives way to a bitter heart. We who claim our desperate need for God’s grace are found to be hypocrites, deficient in our own view of grace toward others. Looking to experience freedom in Christ? Then ask God for forgiveness, and look to forgive the debts of others -every day.