Forgive Our Debts
7 ‘When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words.8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 ‘Pray then in this way:
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 this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.
14For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Lord, help me to look at others with forgiving mercy.
The Lord’s Prayer is an expression of faith. It assumes that human beings are not self-sufficient but dependent on God. It is not a sign of weakness to pray but a sign of our humanity. Prayer acknowledges our need for God. Prayer is surrender. In his book, The Reaffirmation of Prayer, E. Glenn Hinson says that “the key to human existence lies in surrender to God, putting one’s self and one’s affairs utterly and with complete child-like trust in God’s hands.” The concepts of need and surrender are at the heart of our prayer lives.
There is not one among us who would make the outlandish claim of be totally self-sufficient and without any need. Even more outlandish would be to pretend that we have no need of spiritual strength and nourishment. One of the keys to an effective prayer life is to become comfortable with need. This need pushes us toward God, and then He becomes the “go to” person for our deep and simple needs.
God can never become our “go to” person until we surrender our valued self-sufficiency. The surrender concept moves us out of ourselves and into the hands of God. When we are in the hands of God, we feel very comfortable to taking our every need to Him. Look again at the words of the Lord’s Prayer.