Praying the Lord’s Prayer 07: Forgive Us

Hi, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.  

Today, as we continue praying the Lord’s Prayer, we focus on the phrase “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” First, the whole prayer:

Our Father in Heaven,
    Hallowed be your name.
    Your kingdom come.
    Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
      Give us today our daily bread.
    And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
    Save us from the time of trial,
    And deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, now and forever,
Amen.

Our Father in heaven,

Forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.  This is the only request with a condition attached. And just to make it clear, at the end of the prayer, Jesus says, “If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive you” (Matthew 6:14-15).

Our Father, we ask for your forgiveness. But you say it’s a two-way street.  To receive your forgiveness, we must offer our forgiveness to others. Our Father, we thought you were famous for unconditional love and free salvation, but now we hear that salvation has a condition: We must forgive those who have sinned against us.

Does this mean we have to forgive everyone who sins against us?  Must victims of abuse forgive the abusers? Must victims of genocide forgive the perpetrators? Must victims of spiteful behaviour forgive those who shame them?  Must the bullied must forgive the bullies? And we whose lives have been protected must forgive all who have cheated and mistreated us, who dissed us and laughed at us, who mocked or ignored us?   

Our Father, when Jesus was dying, a victim of  religious hatred and miscarried justice, he prayed, “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing.”  We choose to follow his example, forgiving all who harm us. We choose not to curse them, we choose not to fantasize about revenge, we choose not to hate them. We choose not to judge them, for you are the judge. Instead, we free them from our judgement, we give them our forgiveness, and we will be content with whatever punishment or mercy you have for them.

And we confess our own sins against you, trusting you will give us even better forgiveness than we give to others:
– We have not loved you with our whole heart
– We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves
– We have been selfish with our money and our time when you ask us to be generous
– We have been proud of our accomplishments and dismissive of what others have achieved

Father, forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us.  Heal in our heart the disease of sin. Strengthen our will to resist sin. Bring us safely to your country where we will at last be free from sin.

Amen.

I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.

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