7 Days of Prayer, Day 6


"Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors"

OOOO, this one is getting close to home!  Now we're asking God to do something based on our actions.  But then, didn't Jesus tell us that is how it works?

Just after giving us the Lord's Prayer, he said:  Matthew 6:14–15 (NLT) 14“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

But perhaps the more impactful teaching Jesus did on it was telling the parable of the unfaithful servant in Matthew 18.  You will recall that, in the parable, the servant has misused his master's funds.  When he couldn't repay at the master's demand, the master forgave him the debt.  The servant then went and found a fellow servant that owed him some money and when that fellow servant couldn't pay the unfaithful servant had him put into prison until he could pay.  When the master heard of this injustice, he had the unfaithful servant delivered to the torturers until he paid back to the master all that was due.  Jesus concluded the parable with this:  Matthew 18:35 (NLT) 35“That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

It becomes very clear, at least to me, that my salvation, which depends on God's forgiveness of my sins, can be easily thrown away by my failure to forgive.  I don't know about you, but to me, that's VERY serious business!

Truthfully, forgiveness is never about the other person or what they did.  Forgiveness is always about ME.  Forgiveness clears bitterness, it cleanses the memory and the conscience.  It lessens stress and clears the mind to concentrate on what we REALLY should be doing in life.  Don't waste another moment holding onto unforgiveness!

I believe Jesus included this phrase in the prayer because he wanted us to examine ourselves and our own "cleanliness" before God.  So today, when you ask God to "forgive me my debts as I forgive my debtors, stop and take some time.  Explore the deep recesses of your consciousness to see if you have any unforgiveness hidden away in there.  If you do, forgive NOW!  And be confident that when you do, God will forgive you.

Lord, I come to you today and acknowledge that I am a sinner.  No matter how hard I try, I know that I in my own power cannot cleanse myself from all of my sins.  But your word tells me that even when I was a sinner, Jesus came to set me free and cleanse me of my sins.  I know, Father, that that means that you are willing to forgive me of my sins even now.  But I also know, Father, that your word teaches that if I do not forgive those who have hurt or wronged me, you will not forgive me.  Help me today, Father, to give up bitterness, hate, and desire for vengeance.  Help me truly forgive every person who has wronged me in the past.  This is truly my heart's desire, and I know that you will help me heal from these wounds.  Thank you for loving me and wanting the best for me.  I give you all my love and devotion.  Amen

Scripture Reading
Matthew 18:23–35 (NLT) 23“Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt. 26“But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt. 28“But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. 29“His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full. 31“When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. 32Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. 35“That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”


Dennis Dauterive - January 28th, 2023 at 4:57am

Your correct this one hits home because for me the hardest people to be quick to forgive is the ones that take advantage of the very kind-hearted by using them for what they can get out of them. It can be very frustrating being used. For me the forgiveness is easy it's the forgetting that is the hardest part.

Terry - January 28th, 2023 at 7:59am

@Dennis: it does indeed hit close to home. But the Word does not tell us that we have to forget. We do have to RELEASE our bitterness, anger and resentment. But to forget in the fullest sense would also mean that you have to give the one who wronged you another chance to hurt you again. I don't see the Word teaching us that.