Matthew 6 v 9 – 13
9 Pray then like this: “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 lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (ESV)
This is a family prayer (our Father…). Everything we are taught about prayer is with this premise.
Pronouns: our, us – it’s as corporate as it gets.
Prayer is about repenting and releasing.
The reality of His closeness rests on the handling of our sin problem.
This prayer is about:
- A Condition — total depravity, our sinfulness.
Even though we are saved we can and do still sin (e.g. Paul in Rom. 7). We need clear consciences regarding our sins. The awareness of our sins should be a daily thing in our lives. We all need help in dealing with our sin problem.
- Contrition — to mourn about your sin with deep sorrow in your heart.
As far as God is concerned, believers are clean, but our sins have serious consequences in our relationship with Him. Contrition is being ashamed of our sins in the presence of God.
- Confession — the only way in which our sins can be forgiven and our relationships restored. It is agreeing with God regarding the horror of our sin, voicing our plea before Him for forgiveness.
- Commitment — to forgive others to the same degree as God has forgiven me. Grudges go bad places. We need to let go of it, forgiving those who trespasses against us. Love is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrong. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1Cor 13).
You cannot ask the Lord for forgiveness if you are sitting with a root of bitterness in your heart, because you need to be able to say ‘I have forgiven them’. You cannot sneak unforgiveness past God, who sees the heart and the hatred.