What is Prayer and Why Pray? (Part 3)

Matthew 6:12 – The Lord’s Prayer

Today we’ll take a deeper look at the second of the three petitions which focus on our personal needs.

Matthew 6:12 (NKJV)
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors

The commentary in the “New Believer’s Bible” NLT version explains this verse as follows:

Confess your sins to God. Psalm 66:18 (NLT) says,

If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

If you are clinging to some sin, your prayer life will suffer. *

William MacDonald comments in the “Believer’s Bible Commentary”:

This does not refer to judicial forgiveness from the penalty of sin (that forgiveness is obtained by faith in the Son of God). Rather this refers to the parental forgiveness that is necessary if fellowship with our Father is to be maintained. If believers are unwilling to forgive those who wrong them, how can they expect to be in fellowship with their Father who has freely forgiven them for their wrongdoings? #

How do I put that into practice? Here are some examples:

  • Please forgive my sins (list them specifically if possible; sometimes we can’t detail them because we have sinned unconsciously but the Lord knows and will forgive if we ask for them to be forgiven too.)


  • Lord, I forgive “xxxxx” for sinning against me (be specific if you can)

It makes sense that the Lord can’t forgive us if we haven’t forgiven those who sinned against us. If we can’t forgive then our heart isn’t right with God.

In a case that forgiving someone seems impossible, trust in the Lord to help you get through it. Stay in His word, find His help and comfort through the Holy Spirit who resides in your heart.

Do you struggle to forgive those who wronged you?
Are you leaning on the Lord for help?

Feel free to leave me a comment; I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

May our hearts rejoice in the Lord always!

I hope this post is an encouragement to you in your walk with the Lord.

Philippians 1:9-11 (NKJV)
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

To God be the Glory Forever and Ever!

Next week we’ll be looking at

Matthew 6:13a+b (NKJV)
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

*New Believer’s Bible-First Steps for New Christians-Greg Laurie-General Edition
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

# Believer’s Bible Commentary by William MacDonald

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