THE LORD’S PRAYER
A Pattern PrayerBy Dr. Vicky Moots(Part 3)
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” Matt. 6:9-13.
Verse 11: “Give us this day our daily bread.” This shows that we recognize our need and know who to go to in order to have our need met. We know that our Heavenly Father loves us and is willing and able to supply our needs.
Notice that He provides what we need for today. He wants us to trust Him for each day. Manna was provided daily to the children of Israel in the wilderness as we read in Exodus 16. God knew exactly how much they needed each day for each household. They were instructed to gather one omer for each person (omer=6.7 pints).
It was not handed to them. They had to go out early each morning and gather it. They could not hoard it. If they gathered too much (more than they were supposed to) and had some left over the next day, it bred worms and stank. There was one exception: They were to gather twice as much on the sixth day in order to have enough for the Sabbath and it would not rot. There would be none provided on the Sabbath since that was the day of rest.
Sometimes we get over anxious and concerned about what may happen tomorrow if nothing is provided. Bread speaks of not just food, but the necessities of life. We need to just trust our Heavenly Father and obey His Word, and He will take care of us as He has promised to do. Even though we are going through a wilderness experience today we need not fear. If we trust Him for today, He will also take care of tomorrow. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow…” (Matt. 6:34).
We need to feed our souls daily. Jesus is the Bread of Life, the true Bread that came down from Heaven.
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Jesus spoke these words when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. There are many people that only feed their soul once a week on Sunday morning when they go to church and they expect to be spoon fed. They do not want to go out and gather their own manna. If we only ate physical food once a week, we certainly would not have enough strength to do the things we need to do every day.
We are to ask God to give us each day our daily bread from His Word, a special portion just for us, exactly what our soul needs for this day, to get us through the trials that we will be facing tomorrow. Then we would have enough strength to stand against Satan when he tries to cause us to fear or doubt. There may be some days that God gives us an extra portion of His Word because He knows exactly what we will be needing ahead of time.
Verse 12: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” “As” means “in like manner” as we forgive. Verse 14 says, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” When Jesus spoke this, they were still under the Old Covenant, the Covenant of the Law. Under the Law forgiveness was conditional. Debts, trespasses or sins would be forgiven based on our ability to forgive others. But this is not really possible in our own strength, apart from becoming a new creation in Christ. Jesus had not yet gone to the cross to obtain forgiveness for us for our sins. As the Lamb of God, He became the final sacrifice for sin.
His sacrifice fulfilled the Law’s demands. We are now under the New Covenant, the Covenant of Grace. As a result, we are able to forgive others because we have been forgiven. We see this in Eph. 4:32: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” We are now to forgive others in the same manner in which we have been forgiven. What does that mean? Our sins were completely forgiven. Heb. 10:17 tells us, “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”
When God forgives, He also forgets. We are to do the same: not only to forgive, but to forget. We are not to hold a grudge against anyone, no matter what they have done to us. Jesus forgave those who nailed Him to the cross. He cried out, “Father, forgive them.” It was our sins that nailed Him to the cross, but He forgives us, unconditionally, when we accept Him as Saviour. Now we are to forgive in the same manner, unconditionally through the love of God which is given to us through the Holy Spirit.
Unconditional forgiveness requires the unselfish, “Agape,” love of God. This kind of love is the fruit of the Spirit. It is not possible through our own self effort. Only through yielding to the Holy Spirit can we possess and manifest that kind of love and forgiveness. If you are having difficulty forgiving someone, ask your heavenly Father to give you more of His love. You must first experience His love and forgiveness in your own life before you can share it with others. You can’t share something you don’t have. Human forgiveness is only shallow and short-lived. We need divine forgiveness that only comes from God.
Have you received that forgiveness personally? Do you know that your sins have been forgiven? If so, then when you forgive others, you are simply sharing what God has given you. Even if the other person that wronged you does not ask you or God for forgiveness, you can still forgive them for Jesus’ sake, through the power of the Holy Spirit. It will bring honor to your Heavenly Father and healing to your soul.
Part 4 – next issue