There are at least three things common to everyone alive: birth, death, and, in between those two, prayer… I have never met a person who has not prayed. It may be a spiritual prayer born of deep faith or the desperate cry in hopes that Someone might be listening after all. Everyone, everywhere, and of any age has prayed. It unites ancients, moderns, and post-moderns.
At times it is as natural as breathing while at other times it is difficult and painful. Prayer can be both easy and challenging; inspiring and disappointing; gratifying and exasperating; comforting and distressing. At times our longings are abundantly fulfilled and at other times we can feel ignored and our affections betrayed.
The One who prayed, “My God, My God, why have you forsakened me?” taught His followers how to pray and what to pray for. This series is a reflection on the prayer Jesus taught us.
Today we look at the second prayer request Jesus urged us to bring to God: “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”. What does it mean to ask God to “forgive us our debts”? Does forgiveness require forgetfulness? Are there some things that God will not forgive us for? And what about others? Must a follower of Jesus always forgive? These are some of the questions we will be answering today and next week.
Today’s Scriptures | Matthew 6.7-13
Matt. 6:7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
Matt. 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.’
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