A challenging line of the Lord’s Prayer that is known by heart, yet not frequently lived from the heart is, “… and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” While we are deeply thankful when we are forgiven, we are often hesitant or even resistant to forgive the wrongs done to us.
Jesus connects forgiveness directly to the effectiveness of prayer. Want forgiveness? Forgive others. Have a disagreement with your friend? Don’t give an offering, take communion or expect your prayers to travel higher than the ceiling until you do all you can to make things right.
Jesus is serious about His followers living lives of forgiveness. In this season of prayer, take an inventory of your relationships. If any are characterized by strain or conflict, don’t delay in taking the time to seek healing, by either offering forgiveness or asking for it. God is generous and gracious. He expects us to be too!
Remember Jesus’ words, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Thus, it is written. Let us live to this standard in spirit and truth!