“Forgive Us as We Forgive”
NAU Matthew 6:9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread. 12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 ‘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 .’”
More Thoughts on The Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13.
Our next prayer should be “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Today, we will concentrate on our prayer for forgiveness. In my next thoughts, we will discuss how we must forgive others.
In Matthew’s version, we are to pray for forgiveness of our debts. Luke, in his version, says “sins” (Luke 11:4). The two words are related in that when we sin, we increase our debt to God. Our debt to God is great and can only be forgiven because God graciously chooses to forgive. We cannot earn forgiveness. Because Christ has paid the debt we can be forgiven. God freely forgives when we come to Christ in faith believing.
The story of David is told in 2 Samuel 11:1-5. He sinned by taking Bathsheba. Then, in Ps. 51, we have his prayer of repentance. The scribe related this prayer to David. What a powerful prayer for forgiveness. Many have prayed a similar prayer. Failure leads o bitter tears of sorrow. Yet God is faithful to forgive.
More Thoughts from The Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13.
After teaching us to pray for forgiveness, Jesus said, “as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Or, as Luke 11:4 puts it, “For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.” With this comment, Jesus strongly emphasizes forgiving others. One of the results of our being forgiving is that we are motivated to forgive others.
Many commentators point out that God does not forgive us because we forgive others. Rather, we forgive others because God has forgiven us. If we are unforgiving, it is evident that we do not understand what God has done in forgiving us. The grammar on this point is rather complex, but what is clear is that we need to have a forgiving spirit.
Human and divine forgiveness are closely connected. Jesus connected the human and the divine in His parable about forgiveness in Matthew 18:23-35. Whatever the precise connection is, we know that God forgives us, that we should forgive others, and that to ask for forgiveness while being unforgiving is unthinkable.
George M. Flattery, Ed.D., is the founder of Global University and Network211.