The Lord’s prayer is something that, if you grew up in the church, you most likely know for memory. It is something that is engrained in us and when you hear just the first few words, more than likely without even thinking about it, you can fill in the rest. This part of scripture is known widely. Even people that do not identify as Christians have probably heard this at some point in their lifetime; heard read it at a wedding or funeral or seen it printed on a greeting card or a piece of wall art.
Jesus used this passage to teach His disciples to pray. He taught them how to connect with the Father when He would no longer physically with them on earth. “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” -Matthew 6:9-13 But guess what comes next and immediately follows one of the most widely known passages in scripture? “14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”- Matthew 6:14-15 Woah. Right after Jesus teaches us how to pray, He tells us that if we aren’t willing to forgive others who have wronged us, we ourselves will not be forgiven. This can be a hard pill to swallow. It’s easy to receive this grace and forgiveness, but it’s not always easy to offer it; to have it we must also be willing to give it. Spend some time today reading over this passage and reflecting on these questions:
Why do you think Jesus reminds us of this right after He teaches us how to pray?
Why is it easier for us to receive forgiveness rather than to offer it?
How does this revelation of knowing we aren’t forgiven unless we forgive make you feel?
Who may God be calling you to offer this forgiveness to?