21 Days of Prayer and Fasting - Day 12
Matthew 6:12 “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
There may be nothing more kind and gracious in the invitation of prayer than forgiveness. To forgive is to remove the guilt and shame, and to have them replaced with a new covering. This connects back to the garden of Eden in which Adam and Eve felt the weight of sin and shame due to their sin resulting in them hiding from God while covering themselves with leaves. God came to them, and amongst many gracious aspects of His interaction a notable one is the provision of a covering for them (Gen. 3:21).
For most of us, there is a deep sense of brokenness, guilt, and shame. We may not describe it that way, but it's there. The deep desire for forgiveness is present inside each of us. When Jesus ministered to people, he brought about healing and forgiveness. Before Jesus died on the cross and as he was sharing Passover with his disciples, he shared that his blood is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28). 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
The invitation to pray and ask God to forgive is good news. Now, through Jesus, we are not only provided with the removal of guilt and shame, but a new covering. It is a better covering than what was provided in Genesis 3, we are covered by forgiveness through his blood shed on the cross.
What is also notable, is that in conjunction with the invitation for individuals to receive forgiveness, Jesus also reminds us of our relationships with others. One cannot receive such a gift as forgiveness, and not share it with others. It is just too good to not be shared. Therefore, as we pray, we are invited to confess and receive forgiveness, and to be awakened to how we may need to offer forgiveness to others.
How might you need to ask God for forgiveness?
How do you need to respond to God in prayer in response to His forgiveness?
Who might you need to pray for and extend forgiveness to?