The Lord’s Prayer: Part Three

 Mathew 6: 9-13

Last week we considered praying for our daily needs. This week, I would like to share some brief thoughts from this excerpt from the Lord’s Prayer where God directs us to ask Him to forgive our trespasses, and to forgive those who trespass against us. And to keep us from temptation and deliver us from evil.

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us: We need to be forgiven and we need to forgive. This excerpt in the Lord’s Prayer helps us to know that if we expect God to forgive us we must do everything in our power to forgive others. The Lord’s Prayer makes it clear that the prerequisite to be forgiven is to forgive.

When considering others, there isn’t a justification clause about forgiving others in the Lord’s Prayer. There is no clause in the Lord’s Prayer that someone must say I’m sorry as a condition for our forgiveness. It’s nice when we get an apology, it makes it easier, but we should not need it to forgive. If we needed an apology to forgive people we would not forgive many people in our lives.  We forgive because it is the right thing to do. We forgive because God asked us to do it. And we forgive because it heals our hearts and places our soul in right standing with God.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil: When we pray this way we are really praying for daily protection and moral strength in daily living. To be tempted in the Lord’s Prayer means to be tested beyond what we can handle in life. It is about helping us to resist allurements and temptations like envy, lust, pride, and greed that damage our faith and spiritual progress. And to keep us physically safe from harm and injury that are part of our fallen world that damage our health and well-being. God has asked us to pray this way so we do it.

We should probably say this prayer every morning!

Joseph C. Hutchison

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