And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Help us now O Mighty God to forgive those who have offended hurt, despitefully used and abused us. The Lord tells us to forgive as the Father has forgiven us. We are never more like Christ than when we say, “Father I forgive them.” Just as Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” Forgiveness is an expression of God’s kind of love. It was for the love God has for us that He sent His Son to die for us so we may receive the forgiveness from God.
We are given the ability to forgive when we receive the Holy Spirit of God living in us but as always it has to be appropriated as an act of our will. We are to pray, Father I forgive those who have abused and misused me because of the forgiveness You, Lord, has given me for the rebellion and sin I committed against my King and Saviour. Thank you Jesus for your love, you are the One who paid my debt and the debts of those who have offended me.
When people wrong us, humiliate and abuse us they do not understand or care that we are children of the Most High King. We know God’s kingdom principles to not fight back, because we know God is the Righteous Judge and will weigh all things. He will vindicate us. God sent Jesus His only begotten Son to die for them just as He did for us. We are required to forgive the hurt and injustice we may receive in this life and in this we are expressing the love God has for the lost. We are blessed when we do not revile or hate other people when they have wronged us. Only then, are we truly acting and looking like our Father in heaven. Jesus when He was reviled and detested, he did not respond to them with the same hatred He was shown.
Luke 23: 33-34 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
1 Peter 2:23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Father, lead us from all things that are evil and would hurt us or be a snare to us, our families and those who are in our sphere of influence. Direct our paths that we will not fall and be destroyed. We are asking God to keep us from those situations and thoughts that would feed our minds in an evil way and to show us a way of escape from this snare. Lead us away from temptation to do evil and from schemes of the enemy.
Too often we have seen social and news media portray situations in such manner that it stirs up fear, hate and anger. The more we ponder and meditate on hate and anger in our minds the more entangled we become. We are feeding on those evil thoughts which can grow into hateful acts. Horrendous crimes are committed by people who become obsessed with wrongful and hurtful thoughts and in return they become bitter. Their minds begin thinking evil and hateful acts and when they are carried out, it only brings destruction in the end. This is the temptation to do evil Jesus told us to pray that we are delivered from such evil.
There is another process of testing or trying that we may go through and that is to test our commitment to the truth we have obtained. This is not a temptation to do evil but it is a testing to help identify weak areas that may need strengthening. It is a process to locate defects or cracks as when glass or metal is tempered. When glass or metal is tempered or tested it is put under scrutiny to find flaws or weakened areas. Everyone goes through a time when their character and integrity will be tested. It reveals our true character and beliefs. This temptation or testing provides us an opportunity and an occasion to display and execute our beliefs, integrity and character.
People may want to say, “Satan made me do it,” but he only provides an opportunity, we make the choice. It was not mandated we take dishonest action it is ultimately a chance to display our choice. As an act of our will, we choose to stand on our convictions, beliefs and integrity or we choose not to and those areas of weaknesses are revealed. Even when we miss it we can use that as an opportunity to learn, to grow and to change. If we do not acknowledge and address these flaws in our character they may lead us to a destructive lifestyle and hinder our witness to others. The testing we go through reveals who we are under pressure which is our true self and will reveal if we are really committed to walking in integrity.
When we are tempted we do not have to stand alone in this temptation, we should ask God to reveal to us a way out of that situation. God has promised a way of escape. Regardless of what the temptation may be, the enemy only comes to steal, kill or destroy. This is done when we choose to act on those temptations whether in word or deed. If we choose to enter into a destructive relationship or to harbor hate we allow the enemy an avenue into our lives to come and steal or destroy us, our families or other.
We do not have to allow these thoughts or actions to continue. The word of God says for us to seek God, resist the devil and he will flee. It is one process that has dual action. When we seek God through His word we are resisting the devil and he must flee. Many of us want to resist the devil with our might, strength without seeking God’s word or truth on the issue. This will only lead to devastation and annihilation because we cannot stand in our own strength. We must seek God’s wisdom and His way.
Acts of hate, destructive lifestyle and when we fail to forgive can lead down a path that can destroy families and cause such obsession that it leads to ruin. We must guard our thoughts and what we allow to monopolize our mind. God has promised a way of escape but we must choose to take that way out. It may not be our preference but God has promised it is a way out of temptation.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
James 1:13-15 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
1Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
We need to understand prayer is really fellowship and communion with God. It is a private exchange between God and us. Jesus often went off by Himself when He prayed to speak to His Father. When Jesus did pray publicly for Lazarus He said “Father I thank you that you have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me. John 11:41b-42 This was showing Jesus had already prayed privately to God but for the benefit of these around He prayed aloud publicly. Sometimes there are matters on our heart that we can only speak to God and again there are times to pray in fellowship with our community so it may bless others who hear and see God answer prayer.
Matthew 14:23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,
Matthew 26:36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
We have public and corporate prayer in churches, homes and places of worship but this should not be our primary method of prayer. It should be our faithful practice to talk and communion privately with our Father in prayer. Jesus prayed publicly, but His practice most often was to go alone and have private conversation with His Father.