Matthew 6:12, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
The fourth exercise in the Lord’s Prayer is the prayer of forgiveness of sins. Though the believer has been saved perfectly and given a new nature made in the perfect image of God he or she is still able to both be tempted and sin. Therefore, repentance (praying for forgiveness of sin and the changing of one’s behavior) should be a common prayer for the believer whenever they disobey God whether in thought, speech, or deed.
Just like when praying for “our daily bread” the plural is used, so too is the plural used in the prayer of forgiveness, “forgive us our sins” and forgive “our debtors.” Therefore, the disciple is not only to pray that God forgives his own personal sins, but the sins of his community. Praying for the forgiveness of other’s sins is called “intercession.” While the great Old Testament prayer warrior Daniel was living in Babylon he not only prayed for his sins to be forgiven, but also for the whole nation of Israel, Daniel 9.
Also, Jesus taught more in regards to giving others forgiveness after the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:14-15, “14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” As a result, Jesus both in the Lord’s Prayer and His teachings boldly taught that if His disciples did not forgive others their sins, the sins they committed would not be forgiven.
Therefore, in your daily prayer times you should pray for your sins to be forgiven as well as the sins of your community (for example- violence, perversion, greed, etc.) and forgive those who have sinned against you throughout the day. In turn, sin will be defeated in your life and in the lives of others in your community. Thus, God’s Kingdom will come in fullness to all people and nations.
- Search your heart and repent of any known sin.
- Pray for the sins of your community to be forgiven.
- Forgive others who have sinned against you in the same way God has forgiven your sins against Him.