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The Lord's Prayer Revealed

Sometimes when I feel like I can't pray, I lean on The Lord in his example of what prayer should be like and simply say the Lords Prayer. I'm no different than any other average Christian or Catholic; quick to say The Lord's Prayer, without giving any thought to the words that are actually being said. There is a reason why Jesus gave us this prayer as an example of how we should pray, but I also believe that everything in the Bible takes discernment to understand; we need to prayerfully seek wisdom and understanding as to why Jesus told us to pray this specific prayer. Let's look at this deeper.

Matthew 6:9-13

Pray then like this" Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

The portion I want to go over today is "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Most of us interpret this as: " as we forgive others please forgive us." However lets look into this a little deeper.

It is my understanding that when we are reciting this portion of prayer that we are asking God for conditional forgiveness. The condition in this is " as we forgive those who trespass against us." This is a conditional statement, meant literally that forgive us the way we forgive others. Now I'm using this as an example of the interpretation of scripture, not that my interpretation is the end- all. However, how many of us would really be in trouble if we were forgiven based on how we forgive others. If Jesus held us to our request when reciting this prayer, a lot of us wouldn't be forgiven.

I counseled a young woman once who had a husband that was bi-polar. He went from loving her dearly one day, to hating her guts and going into a fit of jealous rage the next day. His pattern of abuse included verbal assaults, sexual abuse and periods of extreme neglect ignoring her existence all together until he was ready for sex again. This pattern went on for years even though they were faithful church goers. This young woman was dealing with major depression due to the state of her marriage, but continually held on to hope that one day God would fix her marriage or give her the strength to leave it. Whenever her husband was in one of his fits, he would call her all manner of names and accuse her of things she didn't do. She chose to ignore the insults and continued pray for him, but it was wearing not only on her mentally, but physically and emotionally. Weary from praying and not seeing any lasting change over the years, she had resolved within herself to just give up. Hopeless and exhausted she decided to leave and no longer forgive what he constantly put her through. She was a firm believer in praying The Lord's Prayer; however by not forgiving, what she is saying when she prays The Lords prayer is this : Forgive me my trespasses Lord, until you are hopelessly tired of what I constantly put you through. By choosing not to forgive others, even when they are flat out wrong, we ourselves can not be forgiven. We have to be so careful as to how and what we are praying.
Now to make things crystal clear, I am not saying that this young lady should've endured the continuing abuse, she definitely should not; but her error lies in her decision not to forgive. It is better to forgive and move on then to move on holding onto un-forgiveness.

The bottom line to this message is: be aware of the implications when praying. Forgiving someone who has hurt you is often a very hard thing to do; but Jesus Christ can help you forgive. Make a choice, remembering that forgiveness is key in our faith as Christians. WE MUST LEARN TO FORGIVE. I am so grateful to God that in his infinite mercy towards us, He does not hold us to fault in our own ignorance. I'm also grateful that the shed blood of Jesus Christ and his love for us covers over a multitude of our sins, because without Him covering us we would all get it wrong.

Be encouraged and remember to FORGIVE! 

Blessings and Love,

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