“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1
To respond to that question, Jesus then shared a model prayer that demonstrated a progression of perspectives that could and should change the way we pray today.
Over the past few blogs, I’ve offered perspectives on this prayer, and what Jesus is teaching us today through it.
Jesus prayed, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.” (Luke 11:4).
I think this one of the most difficult verses in all the Scriptures.
Let me make two simple observations from this verse for our prayer life today:
#1 – We will have to forgive.
We live in a broken and fallen world. Sin abounds. We have a common and crafty enemy that seeks to destroy the work of God in our lives. That’s encouraging, huh?
If that it is true (and it is), then we’ll have to deal with hurts.
During this moment in His prayer, Jesus shows that for us to keep a healthy relationship with God, we’ll need to keep healthy relationships with others. It’s quite odd to say it this way (but, true): Your earthly relationships have an eternal impact.
Since we’ll experience hurt, there’s no way to have a healthy prayer life without being a forgiving person.
#2 – Our capacity to give grace is connected to our capacity to receive it.
This is frightening, to be blunt. It’s as if Jesus is saying, “Father, if they withhold forgiveness, please withhold it from them as well.”
Are you holding on to any unforgiveness? I know that if I ask myself that, honestly, I’m consistently reminded of something or someone that I need to forgive.
I think sometimes we think of God’s forgiveness as a statement of our worth, and it is that in some ways. God loves you and values you, so He sacrificed His Son to provide the means for a relationship with Himself. That’s valuable.
But… more than that…
Forgiveness is a GIFT that is meant to be REGIFTED.
I think this statement embedded in the model prayer reminds us of this simple truth: Jesus lived for and with others graciously, and so should we.
As you pray, let it be an active time of forgiveness, and let the emotional cost of that forgiveness compel you to see the real value in the forgiveness that Jesus leveraged eternally for you.
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Who do you need to forgive?