Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Jesus was asked by his disciples to teach them to pray. They realized to source of His strength and power was the rich fellowship in prayer He had with the Father. It is interesting that in the seven verses of this prayer example for the disciples He mentions the word “forgive” six times. This is very similar to His teaching on faith in Mark 11:22-26 where in five verses He mentions the word “forgive” four times. I guess we may conclude forgiveness is an important part to having our prayers answered and our faith to work. It is in prayer to the Father also where we need to express the forgiveness we need to receive and need to give others like Jesus did on the Cross in Luke 23:34. There is also no better place to examine our own hearts to see if there is unforgiveness against someone Psalm 26:2. We should examine ourselves in prayer about forgiveness knowing that:
IT AFFECTS THE FORGIVENESS WE RECEIVE.
Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
IT IS A GIFT TO US TO DELIVER US FROM TORMENT AND TROUBLE.
Matthew 18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
Proverb 11:17 The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.
IT IS AN ACT OF MERCY AND FAITH FROM OUR HEART NOT FEELINGS.
Matthew 18:27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
IT CHOOSES NOT TO REMEMBER OR KEEP SCORE.
Psalm130:3 If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? 4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
IT IS EASIER IF YOU DO NOT WAIT OR DELAY.
Mark 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Matthew 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
IT ALLOWS A JUST GOD TO SETTLE THE INJUSTICE.
Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.