Lord’s Prayer Devotional, Part 6

Consider: The Greek word translated “forgive” can most directly be translated “release.”

Clarify: Forgiveness is NEVER about being OKAY with sin. It is rather a choice to release someone from the debt incurred by sin.

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. 

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? 

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. 

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