Pray Like This…. 
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. ‘Give us this day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’ Matthew 6:9-13
This is possibly the most well known pray in the world. People have said this single prayer, possibly every day since Jesus instructed them in it 2000 years ago. But instead of simply memorizing and repeat it, what if we were to cut it apart into its simple statements and examine them?
There are 9 distinct thoughts expressed here:
6. Daily Bread
Now obviously it would be a very long post if we looked at each one of these, so instead I want to divide it into sections. Last time we discussed, “Daily Bread” Let’s continue on.
This is often a difficult section. “Forgive us our debts…” This part we like, and we can handle it because we want to be forgiven. We want to see ourselves as clean and good. No one wants to be bad, nor does anyone want to think they are bad. However it is the next portion of this that gives us pause. “As we forgive our debtors”
Wait what? We have to forgive others? No, surely that can’t be right, surely its ok for me to hold a grudge. Jesus just doesn’t understand the things they did to me…
Sadly this is how many of us think and we then rationalize our unforgiveness. We think that its ok to hold a grudge because the things that were done to us were so terrible, but this is not the case and is unsupported in scripture.
As soon as Jesus finished the model for prayer, He makes a very interesting end note. “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. ” Matthew 6:14-15
Jesus, who is our teacher, example, and our Goal has in these two verses, made a direct link between our ability to forgive and our forgiveness. This is so vital. One of the primary explanations of this is found in Matthew 18. Jesus tells a parable about A King and two slaves.
“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22
The parable is a little long so rather than share the whole story, let me sum up. There was a king who wanted to settle debts that his slaves owed him. A slaved owed a huge amount, and couldn’t pay, but he begged, and the King had mercy. The king forgave the debt rather than inflicting the punishment.
That same slave then goes out, and decides to collect on a debt that another slave owes him. But when the second slave couldn’t pay, the first had no compassion and had him imprisoned. When the King heard of this he was enraged and sent the first slave to be tortured until he had paid the fullness of his debt.
Jesus finishes the parable and follows it with this simple thought. “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” Matthew 18:35
God is very forgiving. He is so forgiving that He gave His only Son, our Lord Jesus to pay the price we owed for our sin. Becuase we have been so loved and offered such forgiveness, we ourselves also ought to be willing to forgive.
Keep on the lookout for the remainder of our study in the Lord’s Prayer. I hope that as you are reading it, you are seeing the importance of this model of Prayer. It is not about simple memorization and repetition, but rather it is about understanding concepts and applying them to our prayer life.