Matthew 6:12-14 (NIV) 12Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ 14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
In the last half of the prayer that the Lord taught His disciples, Jesus teaches us the need to forgive others. We are to ask God to forgive our indebtedness to Him in the same way that we have forgiven other’s indebtedness to us. It is human nature to become bitter toward those who have been unjust toward us, yet, we are daily unjust toward God. He pours out so much goodness upon us, but we rarely return the gratitude that is due Him. We rarely respond to His love with the love that is due Him. He asks us to be perfect. (5:48) That would mean responding as we should. Yet, He remembers our human condition and asks one thing. Forgive others like you want to be forgiven. Imagine the transformation that would take place in the world if individuals would do just that!
The prayer ends with a request to not be led into temptation, but instead, to be delivered from Satan. This prayer is in recognition of our weakness. It asks for divine intervention to keep us from areas in which Satan would ensnare us. Spiritual people don’t consider themselves capable. They rely on the strength of the Lord. In the Spirit, they know they can do anything the Lord calls them to do. At the same time, they see how weak their flesh is and ask for heaven’s intervention. The only way they will finish strong is by the grace of God.
The one comment Jesus makes on the prayer is to point back to forgiveness. If you forgive others when they wrong you, you can be assured that God will forgive you. This teaches us that the heart of God desires to see me walk in peace, and longs for strife between individuals on this earth to cease. Are you walking in the light of this?
Remember: Forgive like you want to be forgiven…..