Focal passage: Matthew 6:12-13; Psalm 51:1-7, 10-12
In this passage, Jesus continues to model prayer and moves to forgiveness. After renewing our hearts for God’s glory (v. 11) and the good of others, we then have the spiritual ability to forgive.
It has been said that forgiveness is an easy word to grasp, but a hard word to practice. Isn’t this true? However, like the ungrateful servant (Matthew 18:21-35), we must continually remind ourselves of God’s grace in spite of our sin.
A good example of this is in the life of David.
After committing sin, he writes Psalm 51 and pours out his heart to God.
The first thing he does is confess his sin and ask for forgiveness (vv. 1-7). There, we see his awareness of sin and he agrees with God about his mistakes (v. 4).
His sin has separated him from God and he longs to be brought back. By confession and asking for forgiveness, David longs to be welcomed into an intimate relationship with God. The second thing David does is seek restoration and renewal for his soul (vv. 10-12). He desires God’s presence in his life! This is what will keep David on the right path with God.
Like David, Jesus’ prayer to be protected from sin and temptation are the overflow of a life that desires to please God.
In both of these examples (The Lord’s Prayer and David), it becomes evident that they don’t just want God for His benefits, but simply want His manifest presence in their lives. They want God, not just His stuff. This must also be our hearts!
When we ask for forgiveness or an escape from temptation or sin, we must do so with correct motivation. A right relationship with our Creator must be our source of satisfaction.
When we repent and ask for forgiveness, we acknowledge God’s plan and seek His presence in our daily lives.