A Daring Experience
“. . . forgive, . . .” Mark 11:25
Prayer is a daring experience, for there in His presence there are no secrets; the true condition of the soul is revealed. Prayer is a heart-searching matter. The power of our prayers depends on the state of the soul which offers them up to God.
Our prayers must not only be diligent, sincere, passionate and in the name of Christ, they must come from a forgiving heart. We have no right to ask for mercy, if we are not willing to extend it to others. The measure of forgiveness we give to others will be the measure of forgiveness we are capable of receiving.
Notice the strong verb here in the verse “so that your father MAY forgive you.” The work of God is hampered by one’s actions. These are soul-jarring words. We trip over this truth every time the Lord’s prayer is prayed. When we say “forgive us as we forgive,” we say them without realizing how deep into the mind and the heart they go; without pausing long enough to remember that if we hold a hard, relentless and retaliating heart, obstacles to our own forgiveness are created.
It’s no wonder so many prayers seem to be thrown away and unheard. Jesus has gone to great lengths here in these verses to drive home the point that the connection between our faith and our prayers is forgiveness. The one who says “I’ll forgive, but I’ll never forget,” has never tasted the cleansing gift of the forgiveness of God.
The key to effective prayer is to understand that Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for us satisfied the wrath of God. Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Each disciple must be immersed in this truth. The work of the Holy Spirit is to continually bring us into union with the cleansing work of Jesus. God’s forgiveness of sin is the greatest privilege in the world.
Do you know what it means to forgive and be forgiven?
Can you let go of the injuries others have caused in your life?
Can you forgive an offense?
If not, then where is your Christianity?