Lord’s Prayer Devotional, Part 6
Consider: The Greek word translated “forgive” can most directly be translated “release.”
- Release us from our debts, as we release those indebted to us.
- Unforgiveness is a major roadblock to Jesus’ Kingdom of release coming to fruition in me and through me. As we pray, we must ask our Father to help us remove this roadblock.
- Matthew 6:14-15: 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
- To forgive is to release someone from debt (financial, emotional, psychological, etc. There is more than one form of debt).
Clarify: Forgiveness is NEVER about being OKAY with sin. It is rather a choice to release someone from the debt incurred by sin.
- All sin results in debt. Forgiveness is never free. To forgive someone means making a choice to absorb their debt against you.
Confess: “Forgive us our debts…” I must first believe my sin has created a mountain of debt.
Psalm 51:4 (NIV) 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
Read: The parable of the wicked servant in Matthew 18:23-35.
- If our release from debt hasn’t produced an overall belief in the release of debts, then we have no part in a kingdom defined by that ethic.
Consider: The audacity of this prayer. To pray “forgive us our debts” is to ask our Father to absorb the cost of EVERYTHING we’ve damaged in our sin… And yet Jesus is inviting us to pray just that.
Pray: Father, I have spurned your great love, I have trampled on your heart, and there is no way that I could ever pay back or repair all of the brokenness and damage I have inflicted upon Your creation, and yet you invite me to pray that you cover all of it. That you release me from all that I owe. Who then is going to pay?
- Colossians 2:13–14 (NIV) 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.
- Jesus absorbed all of our debt in His own flesh on the cross.
Challenge: Releasing others is difficult, because it requires us to absorb the damage they have inflicted upon us. Forgiveness doesn’t excuse the actions of others, nor does it attempt to control them. It is a choice to release the debt or grudge that those actions have incurred. This matter is very complicated and must be tread carefully as it is applied to unique situations, but for the purposes of prayer, it is a choice to let go of that burden and hand it over to God.
Trust: Father, I may not have the financial, psychological, nor emotional resources to cover the debt that others have incurred against me. But I believe this is supernatural. You instructed us to petition – “Give us this day our daily bread” prior to confession – “forgive us our debts,” perhaps because you know that the resources I need to release this debt cannot come from within me. They have to flow from you. Fill me with your abundance, so that I may release others from their debts, just as you absorbed my debt in order to release me.