How Forgiveness Helps Prayer

Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your transgressions. Mark 11:25

There are qualifications for believing and receiving and one of them is that we forgive those who hurt and offend us or someone else. Harboring unforgiveness in our hearts will keep our prayers from being answered.

We should forgive others as quickly as we make the decision to pray. When we begin praying, we must forgive anyone we are holding something against. Why is this so important? God dealt with all men’s offenses by placing sin upon our Messiah Yeshua who was judged in place of all sinners of all time. To demand that others must earn our forgiveness when we did not earn ours is rebelling against not being like Yeshua. He forgave us, and we should forgive others.

It is doubtful that a person who refuses to forgive has ever truly experienced forgiveness. This is comparable to the servant Yeshua talked about in Matthew 18:23 – 35. “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle up, a man was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But since he didn’t have the money to repay, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. Then the slave fell on his knees and begged him, saying, ‘Be patient with me, and I’ll repay you everything.’ And the master of that slave, filled with compassion, released him and forgave him the debt. “Now that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii. And he grabbed him and started choking him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe!’ So his fellow slave fell down and kept begging him, saying, ‘Be patient with me, and I’ll pay you back.’ Yet he was unwilling. Instead, he went off and threw the man into prison until he paid back all he owed. “So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply distressed. They went to their master and reported in detail all that had happened. Then summoning the first slave, his master said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave all that debt because you pleaded with me. Wasn’t it necessary for you also to show mercy to your fellow slave, just as I showed mercy to you?’ Enraged, the master handed him over to the torturers until he paid back all he owed.  “So also My heavenly Father will do to you, unless each of you, from your hearts, forgives his brother.”

Yeshua called the servant who refused to forgive “wicked.” Can you see why God cannot answer our prayers if we are acting like this wicked servant and refusing to forgive others the way we have been forgiven?

The forgiveness you have received from the Messiah is infinitely greater than any forgiveness you ever will be asked to extend to others. Freely forgive as you have been forgiven, and then you can pray competently and God will hear and answer your prayers.

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