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God wants us to act on what He is talking with us about. Jesus gets that. Jesus knows what the Father is doing and He does that. He acts on His Father’s words. He knows the vital connection between knowing and doing.

Jesus challenges us to listen to our Father and act on what we hear. There is a vital connection between what God is doing and what I should be doing.

  • Is God forgiving me? I must forgive myself and everyone else.
  • Is God healing me? I must bring others to God’s healing hand.
  • What is God doing?
  • Am I doing it as well?
  • Do I only do what I see my heavenly Father doing? Hint: That is the way of Jesus.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

English Standard Version. (2016). (Matthew 6:14–15). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

In this “appendix” to the Master’s prayer, Jesus expanded the last phrase of Matthew 6:12, “as we forgive our debtors.” He later repeated this lesson to His disciples found in Mark 11:19–26.

  • He was not teaching that believers earned God’s forgiveness by forgiving others; for this would be contrary to God’s free grace and mercy.
  • However, if we have truly experienced God’s forgiveness, then we will have a readiness to forgive others.
  • Our Master illustrated this principle in the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant.

We have seen that true praying is a “family affair” (“Our Father”). If the members of the family are not getting along with one another, how can they claim to have a right relationship with the Father?

  • The emphasis is that we show our love for God by loving our brothers. When we forgive each other, we are not earning the right to prayer; for the privilege of prayer is a part of our sonship.
  • Forgiveness belongs to the matter of fellowship: If I am not in fellowship with God, I cannot pray effectively.
  • But fellowship with my brother helps to determine my fellowship with God; hence, forgiveness is important to prayer.

Since prayer involves glorifying God’s name, hastening the coming of God’s kingdom , and helping to accomplish God’s will on earth, the one praying must not have sin in his heart. If God answered the prayers of a believer who had an unforgiving spirit, He would dishonor His own name. How could God work through such a person to get His will done on earth? If God gave him his requests, He would be encouraging sin! The important thing about prayer is not simply getting an answer, but being the kind of person whom God can trust with an answer.