Matthew 6,12 (and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors)
Reflection: Every time my prayer comes to this point, I just feel like giving up. I feel so unworthy and trapped in an inner struggle, knowing that in the following verses of Matthew 6, verses 14 and 15, it says: “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
And I often have a problem with forgiving. Often hurts hurt, and our natural, human reflex is to be afraid to forgive because it looks like it breaks our shield and makes us vulnerable to new hurts. I have so little to say, and so much to pray for. However, at one point it dawned on me to invite you today to enter into prayer thinking about the following: God was the first to forgive us. He died for us while we were still sinners, while we ourselves still haven’t forgiven. God loved us first, and today we can love because He loved us first.
God actually takes the first step, and that’s what makes this part of the prayer possible for us. Only as those who have been forgiven can we forgive others. And it doesn’t mean it won’t be hard, but His forgiveness to us is available first, before His command to do the same. So, what God calls us to do is to follow Him. In 1 Peter 1,16, there is a call: “Be holy as I am holy.” God knows very well what man is like and what His heart is like, and He does not expect impossible and unrealistic things from us. He knows that these things are not achieved overnight. He invites us into a process that will last as long as we live, a process of dedication, a process that includes that eternal struggle for forgiveness.
That’s why I don’t give up. That’s why I surrender to Him and fight this battle. That’s why I pray:
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for knowing even the darkest corner of our hearts. We struggle to forgive. We are afraid to forgive. We need Your help every new day. We need Your grace. Thank You for being patient with us and giving us time. And thank You for working ON us and FOR us during that time, because You are for us, not against us. Help us to grow in the dynamics of forgiveness, help us to experience relief and liberation when we forgive. Help us to honestly pray: Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Amen.
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán