Why Forgiveness Matters, Part 2

From a foundational attitude of trust, Jesus provides an example prayer in Matthew 6:9-13:

9After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11Give us this day our daily bread. 12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

Many of us have memorized this prayer and can quote it by heart.  And while this is a good prayer to pray, it was given specifically as a pattern of a fundamental way in which believers are able to pray.  Notice, this prayer is divided into two major portions, the first of worship and the second of petition.  Each division is also divided into three parts.  In verses 9-10, this prayer formula begins with reverencing God’s name, followed by requesting God’s ruling power, and then asking that His will be accomplished.  As a Christian begins by focusing his/her attention on who God is, expresses a desire for God’s reign both in this life and in the one to come, and acknowledges that God’s will is supreme to any human desires, they are able to gain the biblical perspective of worship and submission to God above all else, because He is worthy of our adoration and service. Beginning with worship also allows Christians to gain the proper perspective on our human frailty.

From this high view of God, the second half of the prayer, found in verses 11-13, begins by asking for the most basic needs in life. If we are able to trust God with our basic needs such as “daily bread,” then we will be able to trust Him with those needs that appear greater or more complicated. The next part of this petition asks for forgiveness from sins already committed, followed by a request for deliverance from future temptations to sin.