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When You Pray: Week 6

Jul 1, 2024
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When You Pray: Week 6

Matthew 6:12

“Now what we need is forgiveness.” This powerful statement was uttered by prisoners of war to their captors after the victorious Allies swept in. Today, Pastor Alex focused on the phrase in the Lord’s Prayer that addresses a very important need that we all have. That need is the forgiveness of sins. God forgives us through faith in Christ and we then follow His example by forgiving others who have sinned against us.

Do not think that forgiving others is a prerequisite for God forgiving our sins. The opposite is true. We can forgive others because the Lord has already forgiven us. Romans 5:1 declares, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The cry of our heart, therefore, is for the Lord to help you deal with other people the way He has dealt with you.

To forgive means to let go of the obligation another person “owes” you because of sin. The idea is pictured in grabbing hold of a hot pot with one’s bare hand. If this happens, the first thing to do is “let the pot drop.”

How do we forgive?

  1. Understand what forgiveness is not. It is not approval or condoning what they did. Neither is it forgetting what they did. Hebrews 10:17 helps us to choose to no longer allow that sin to influence me.
  2. Choose to not keep a record of wrongs. Get rid of any list of wrongs you may be keeping either in your mind or on paper.
  3. Remind yourself that forgiveness is supernatural and that bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness is natural. You can’t forgive without the Lord’s help.
  4. Pray for them. Praying for those who have wronged you is a very important step towards forgiving and healing.
  5. Remind yourself of the cost of unforgiveness. As bitterness and unforgiveness takes root it will have a negative effect on you physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Questions to Consider

  1. How does unforgiveness hinder one’s prayer life (Psalm 66:18,19)?
  2. What are some practical steps we can take to repair broken relationships and restore unity in the church that have arisen through bitterness and unforgiveness towards one another?
  3. How does unforgiveness grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30-32)?
  4. Discuss the impact of the various ways to emphasize the word forgiveness. (forgiveness, forgiveness).