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Talking To God


"9 "Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]

14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions."

Good Morning my beloved,

We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is my honor and great privilege to have you here with us today. We are especially grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website, and social media platforms with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness and commitment to share God's Word with others continues to bring about tremendous results. People are responding to God's Word! This is all so amazing. We ask you to pray that God will continue to give us boldness to speak the truth in ministry in the face of adversity in the coming days! As I'm sure you have noticed, it's becoming more and more difficult in the days in which we live to speak truth in a culture that's literally offended by everything, especially biblical truth.

Prayer was a huge priority in the life of Jesus. I believe there are to be two spiritual activities which are to be unceasingly part of the life of every believer and as essential as breathing. The first is reading and studying the Word of God, and the second, is prayer. It is prayer that draws us into the very presence of God and gives us life and sustenance. Yet, as easy as that sounds, we all seem to have problems with knowing how or what to pray. Historically, the prayer in our passage today, has been called  "The Lord’s Prayer." It’s really The Disciple’s Prayer, and a model of prayer for all of us, an instruction for us to know how to pray. 

The Apostle Paul tells us in I Thessalonians 5, "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

It was not intended to be a prayer to be recited, Christ is not telling us the exact words to pray, but He is giving us a pattern to pray. Though it would certainly be fine to repeat The Lord’s Prayer verbatim, as long as your hearts and minds are engaged, and not spoken as part of a routine, ritual or a liturgy. It is  amazing to me, to think that in just 70 words, our Lord is able to comprehensively articulate in these concise statements, every conceivable element of genuine prayer that is honoring to Him.

Having just rebuked and condemned the Pharisees and scribes for their false and meaningless prayer, Jesus gives us this needful, matchless prayer. Our Lord not only teaches us to pray, but how to do it properly.

Let us pray

Heavenly Father,

Father, we thank You and give You praise for these eternal truths. May they become such a part of who we are  that You will be glorified by all we think, say and do. Help us to live lives that bring conviction upon those who are living in disobedience to Your Word, that they would embrace Christ and their lives would be transformed. Lord, we pray that Your would grant us the desire that Your will be done, not ours. Fill our hearts with a longing for Your kingdom. All for Your glory and Christ's sake.
In Jesus' name
Today's Message: Talking To God
It is certainly no secret that we are living in a selfish, self-centered, self indulgent society.
very deeply troubling to me, that more and more Christians today are buying into the idea that prayer is simply a way for you to somehow obligate God to get what you want. Just turn on the television or radio to the Christian Networks, and you're sure to hear some modern preacher telling you that all you have to do, is "name it and claim it" and God has to deliver. I believe this is nothing more than a perversion of the Gospel and a spiritual justification for self-indulgent sin.

Furthermore, I believe this is not only terribly threatening to the foundational purity and the sanctity of the Church, but it completely reverses the role of God and man. Man has become sovereign and God, has become his servant. This theology is anything but biblical. It's taking the name of the Lord in vain. In fact, it's satanic. Scripture clearly teaches us, that God is sovereign and man, is His servant. 

When Christ returns in Glory. He will set up His kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion will not pass away; it is an everlasting and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed. 

Open with me your Bibles to Matthew chapter 6. As we continue to our study of chapter 6, we are, as you know, studying the Sermon on the Mount. Today, we find ourselves in verses 9-15, where our Lord stops in the midst of His discourse, and interjects a word of instruction on prayer, to all of those who name His name. 
Because the Bible commands us to pray, I believe this prayer is very important, since Jesus is instructing us on how to pray, it is important that we must take note of the order of the petitions in this prayer. It is highly unlikely we will get through all of this in one message. 
I invite you to follow along with me as I read verses nine through fifteen, as we prepare our hearts for the Spirit of God is saying to each of us. Matthew 6:9-15

"Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions."

There's a couple of things I'd like you notice what Jesus doesn’t teach us about prayer. He doesn’t give us about any specific times, specific place or a specific posture for prayer. I've often heard preachers saying the Bible teaches us to pray at this time or that time. In my years of studying God's Word, I have found that people prayed in the early morning, in the afternoon, at night, before meals, three times a day, at bed time, and when they were in trouble or delivered out of trouble. Basically anytime and in all circumstances, in the Bible, people prayed.  Prayer is an open communion with God that takes place at all times. Prayer is a way of life. Sadly, very few Christians commit themselves to this.

Jesus begins by saying "Pray, then, in this way." We could well translate it, 'Pray along these lines." In the Greek, "Houtōs oun," which literally means "Thus, therefore." Jesus doesn't say pray in these exact words.  It's important to note, this comes right after He just told us that "your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." That means to pray with full confidence that our Father knows what we need before we ask him and then, in our humility and feebleness, we can cry out to Him, for what we need. I don't know about you, I find this so comforting, that even when we don’t know what to pray, He knows our needs. 
Beloved, we have been given the honor, the great privilege, a marvelous opportunity to come before the Lord in prayer. We can enter into His direct presence, to come boldly before His throne because we have been hidden in Christ. The Holy Spirit Who dwells within us, helps to align our wills with the will of the Father.
"In this way, " does not necessarily mean in these exact words, though it can mean that, more often that not, it references to the general content rather than the specific words. Jesus is telling us that all praying is to follow the pattern given to us here, which is focusing on the glory of God, that is the basis, that God may be glorified. Because God is the focus of all prayer. That's why Jesus begins with "‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done. Then, notice how He ends the prayer, "For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever." Prayer is to bring our life into harmony with God's will, then giving Him the privilege of displaying His majesty.
Let's look at Psalm 86, in which the psalmist says  "Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; And give heed to the voice of my supplications! In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You, For You will answer me. There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like Yours." Notice he doesn’t begin with a petition. Prayer was and is, all about setting God in his rightful place. Then bringing our will into submission to His.
Look at verses 11 and 12, "Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and will glorify Your name forever." Prayer is bowing submissively to the will of God, no matter what happens. We cannot separate prayer from praise.   
Now, notice in Matthew 6, every statement Jesus makes in this prayer focuses on God. That said, because there is so much depth, so much that can be said here, it's difficult to pick and choose. So, let's start with the invocation that begins the prayer. God’s paternity, "Our Father who is in heaven." Jesus begins with the recognition that God is our Father. He reminds us who we’re talking to when we pray I hasten to add, the word "our" has reference to believers, the people of God. There are many liberal pastors who teach that God is the father of everyone, that is only true in the sense of creation. We are only children of God universally insofar as we have been created by God. However, relationally, no, He is not.
In fact, in I John chapter 3 verse 10, John very clearly characterizes two families; "By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. We are not simply one family under one universal fatherhood of God. Only those of us who have been born again have been born into the family of God. Jesus' statement, "Our Father," eliminates the world of unbelievers. He understood the intimacy of a relationship with God as a personal Father. 
I believe that Jesus brought us that intimacy. When the religious Jewish leaders redefined their system to tolerate sinfulness, they cut themselves off from God’s fatherly care. In fact, it a blasphemous thing to even mention the name of God.  So, when Jesus says "Our Father," He is introducing a kind of intimacy that was not previously understood. In the Old Testament, the Jews understood God as the father in a national sense, rather than a personal one.  
In I Chronicles 29, it says "So David blessed the Lord in the sight of all the assembly; and David said, "Blessed are You, O Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever." When Jesus used the term "our Father," He brought God to men. As a footnote, Jesus used the word "Father" over 70 times when He prayed. There was only one prayer that He ever pray and did not use the word "Father." It was only one time that He addressed God in any other term. 
In Matthew 27, " Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" He was only separated from the Father temporarily when He was sin-bearing on the cross. All other times the intimacy of His relationship to the Father was expressed. When we're praying to God, our heavenly Father, we're praying to somebody beneficently loving, personally involved, and absolutely intimate. 
There is something tremendously rich about that! When we come to God, we come to Him as an intimate Father. Not some far off deity. The false religions of the world, live in fear of their false gods. They don't have a loving heavenly Father. Through Christ, He's our Father, of whom we need not be afraid. He’s not your Father, He’s not my Father, He’s "Our Father." He is our loving Father who has all the resources of heaven. 
One more thing, as parents, we expect our children to be obedient. We expect them to follow the rules. It amazes me just how many Christians, who claim God as their Father, are living in disobedience. He is a far more worthy to have His children be obedient than any one of us. 
Then, He says "Hallowed be Your name." I've had a number of people ask, "What does hallowed mean? How do we hallow His name?" Hallowed is an archaic word. It is the Greek verb "hagiaz,"  which is a very important word in the Bible. It means holy. So, Jesus is saying "Holy be Your name." Hagios can mean to make an ordinary thing extraordinary; to make a common thing uncommon by bringing it into contact with something extraordinary and uncommon. To begin with, we are unholy but by coming in contact with One who is holy, we can be made holy. You see? That is not its use here.
The second way it used in the Bible, is to reference to treat something or someone as sacred; to regard someone as separated and holy. In this case, it is to regard God as holy. We do not make God holy, we simply petition that His name be regarded as holy. That's why we say "Hallowed be Your name." Holy means to be different, to be set apart. The quality of being different. That is why God is called the Holy One. By the way, not everyone who is different is holy, but everyone who is holy is different. We were set apart to serve God, to let our light shine before others. Our holiness comes from Christ. Therefore, I believe that we must allow our lives to reflect our gratitude and love for the great price that Christ paid for us on the cross. Because God is holy, He should have His own honor of which He is so worthy.
We are called to separated from the world, living in the world, but not love what the world loves. I John 2 says "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." A lack of godliness in your life, fails to demonstrate that you have truly been changed by God. 
I believe this is why Jesus includes this after "Our Father," because too much "our Father" leads to  sentimentalism. This is a major issue in modern Christianity, we have dragged God's name down to our level. I have heard a number of Christians speak of God in such low level terms that actually does an injustice to His name. God is not our equal, He is not on our level nor are we on His. Today, we go to God as if He's expected to give us everything we desire, rather than to worship Him. 
Look, it's fine to submit your requests, your needs, but that's not the primary purpose of prayer. That's why Jesus includes our needs after we give God the reverence He deserves. God is our Father, however, He is still Most High and Almighty God, Who is worthy to be adored, praised and glorified. The Jews were well aware of this, in fact, they almost always immediately added another title after Father, to prevent the issue of sentimentalizing God. In other words, we are not to speak of God in earthly terms, but rather in a way that is fitting for His power and His holiness.  I often wonder how many times, Christians today, recite the Disciple's Prayer, without even knowing what they are saying.  

In John 12:28, Jesus says "Father, glorify Your name." Honoring the Father was His goal, "Let Your name be hallowed in My life." As followers of Christ, we should pay close attention to what Jesus is saying. We first begin to do this when we believe that God exists. You can never exalt God unless you believe that He exists. It has to begin there. By the way, Scripture never tries to prove that God exists, because God is axiomatic. An axiom is unprovable, it is a self-evident truth.
There are many who claim to believe in God, who do not hallow His name. The God they believe in is not the God He is really is! I frequently hear people say, "Well, my God would never send people to Hell!" To which I respond, "You're right! Your God doesn't exist." Believing in a God that doesn't exist does not hallow His name. You have to believe God is Who He says He is, not the one you've created, or want to believe in. Many have attempted to bring their concept of God into the church, where it has no place. To allow into your misconceptions of God that are wrong and unworthy, is to irreverence His holy name. When you do not understand who God is, you have not hallowed His name, you have taken it in vain. You can only hallow His name when you believe God is Who He says He is. To reverence God is to live in His consciousness.

In Psalm 16, David says "I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." That's the key, to see God is all things, everywhere. I believe that many Christians think of God sporadically. Some days more than others, and other days, not at all. For many, Sunday seems to be the only time they think of God. The rest of the week, they are living as the world. If you don't believe me, just observe some of them in traffic! When you hallow God's name, He is manifest in everything you say and do, that includes outside of church.

We hallow God’s name when live a life of obedience to Him. This prayer is not just that God’s name be hallowed in heaven, but in the world through you and me. As sons and daughters, we should bear the resemblance of our Father. In II Peter 1, Peter tells us we have been made "partakers of the divine nature."
Then, in verse 10, Jesus says "Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." This speaks of a kingdom that must exist upon earth. An earthly dominion that will hallow the name of the Father and do his will on earth as it is being done in heaven. I believe this can only refer to the long promised Messianic Kingdom, the Millennial Kingdom where the King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of David will reign and rule. The kingdom in the sphere where Christ rules. When we pray "Your kingdom come," we are praying for the same thing that John prayed at the very end of Revelation 22 when he says, "Come, Lord Jesus." Today, He is the ruler in the heart of everyone who has put their faith in Him.
It is interesting to note, that all three petitions regarding God’s name, regarding His kingdom and His will, the Greek verbs are all in the emphatic position. This underscores the profound importance of each one. The verbs are in an aorist active imperative, denoting an instantaneous action. We are not praying for something that already exists on the earth, but a kingdom that will suddenly explode upon the earth. In other words, we are praying for the glory of God to suddenly, instantaneously burst forth upon this earth. 
Lord, advance Your Kingdom, even if that means I lose everything. That’s the heart of our petition. When we pray to our loving Father, we accept that He knows best and we respond to Him in obedience. I don’t want anything that isn’t God’s will. If the Lord wants to take what I have away, that's fine. He can take it. I don't feel the least bit hesitant in praying that way, I don't have an agenda. If that's God's will, I'm fine with it. I've been asked "What if God just took away your ministry? What then?" I have accepted a long time ago, He doesn’t need me. 
Whatever He chooses to do, so be it, I just trust that He’s going to lead me. Everything’s going to be the way that God wants it to be, that doesn't mean I'm giving up. It means I trust Him completely. I accept it as His will for my life, so I don't question it. I believe that God loves me, and everything He does is for His glory and my good. If I ask Him for bread He's not going to give me a stone. All things are given to me are for His glory, to advance His kingdom and to fulfill His will. After I give honor and glory to God,  I pray for forgiveness of my sins,  then I pray for my needs, and thirdly, I ask for His protection, to keep me from temptation and evil. The focus of all prayer is to be worship first. I pray that this is the longing of your heart. Anything less is self-centered, dishonoring God and not a prayer. Jesus said, "pray, then, in this way" that God might be honored. I believe that an authentic prayer life begins with the death of self. 

Modern evangelism has drained the life out of prayer. "Your will be done" is said with bitter resentment and a rebellious attitude. We are not rebelling against the world, the disobedience of believers or the rejection of Christ. But when we pray "Your will be done" that's what we're doing, for His will to be done of earth. It is to surrender to God. Jesus wouldn't have come into the world to destroy him who had power over sin and death, if He wanted to tolerate them. He desires all men to be saved, but He hasn't decreed it. 
God has not decreed all that He has desired or vice versa. He has decreed some things He does not desire. It was not His desire for His Son to be tortured and to suffer. But He decreed that it be so, He longed to see men repent, to receive Christ's sacrifice, yet few did. Jesus desired Jerusalem to be saved but they crucified Him instead.  These are not the expression of His loving will for man. When we say, "Your will be done," we are rebelling against the world and all the sorrow and the sin and the disease and all the things that come as a result of sin. Jesus didn’t come into the world and say "Oh well, well it’s the will of God." And, in II John, when He went into the temple and saw that they were in there to make money, He became angry, everything inside of Him rebelled in righteous wrath. Jesus didn’t just accept the world the way it was, and neither should you and I. That's why we must pray  "Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." When we pray for God’s will, we pray against Satan's will to be done! During the Great Tribulation, I believe there will be people all over the world, who will be begging the Lord to come. 
Charles Spurgeon, who was a truly unique instrument of the Lord once wrote "Let us learn to say, it is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good." We should not only yield to the divine will, but acquiesce in it so as to rejoice in the tribulation which it ordains." He went on to say "This earth is subject to vanity, dimmed with ignorance, defiled with sin, furrowed with sorrow; can holiness dwell in it as in heaven?"
When you come to "Give us this day our daily bread," it probably seems irrelevant to most us in America. When is the last time that you sincerely prayed "Lord, please provide my next meal." It would be fair to say we have a deficiency in our understanding of this marvelous truth.  Most of us waste more food in a week, than many have to eat in a month. We have more grain in America that is beyond our capability to conceive. In 2020, U.S. farmers were forced to destroy crops with no demand. In 2021, agricultural staples like corn produced $61 billion, soybeans $46 billion, and wheat $9.3 billion in America alone. Technology has given us a tremendous amount of productivity in terms of food. So what does this text mean to us?

There are two elements to this prayer; the first one is dealing with God’s glory and the second one is dealing with man’s need. We cannot rightly pray about our situation until God has been put in the proper place. The petition is the expression that God may reign everywhere, and that His laws are obeyed. The word “kingdom” here is the Greek word "basileía," which means reign. I believe the bread here is a broad term, representative of our food, but whatever is necessary to sustain daily life. I'd like to draw your attention that it asks God to give "us" this day "our" daily bread. We're asking God not just to meet our own needs, but also our brother’s needs. Because in Christ, we’re in this together. In Jesus’ day, they were commonly paid each day at the end of each day. So, they were used to living one day at a time. I believe that this is the attitude that Jesus wants us to have. Regardless of how often we get paid. It's about trusting God for our immediate needs, not our greed's. 
Today, our society teaches us the value of self sufficiency, always being prepared for the future by having more than we need. There's nothing wrong with preparing for the future, but Jesus is warning us not to trust in those things. But to put our trust in God to give us what we will need each day. I hasten to add, when we learn to trust God completely, day by day, for everything needed for the preservation of life, it makes anxiety unnecessary. Either we trust God in all things, for all things or we do not trust Him at all. God cares that our physical needs are met. God is not going to willfully withhold the necessities of life from a righteous child. Scripture promises that! Our Lord would not teach us to pray for impossibilities. 

Proverbs 3 says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding."
Prayer is a constant affirmation that we realize that all of our substance comes from God. Beloved, everything I have and all that I share comes from God's gracious hand, the giver of all. He has blessed us by creating a world such incalculable beauty and wonder, just look around. He gave us an incredible amount and variety of grains, fruits and vegetables, He painted the landscape with a variety of flowers, in a variety of colors. The Lord has provided in an abundant array condiments and herbs, salt, pepper, cumin, mint, rosemary and thyme to name a few. Have you ever paused to consider everything that God’s given us? It is literally amazing. Without God, there isn’t anything, because there isn't anything that God did not create. Nothing! Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, we are completely dependent on God. It is all a gift from God. How grateful we should be for God’s gracious and loving provision. 
It's saddens me to say, if we don’t have a need of anything, many Christians fail to pray in this way. Or sometimes, even at all. In fact, most of the world just indulges itself without any display of gratitude at all. Yet, God continues to feed the ungrateful sinner. He’s not bound to do that. How often they abuse His mercies. Luke 6:25 says "Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep." Then, their going to go hungry. While it may be a sad statement, it is an appropriate view of the facts. 
Later in Matthew 6, Jesus says "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. I can personally say, that there have been times, when my food, shelter and clothing has been provide by a supernatural act of God, through other people. Thank God for providing a faithful Christian community. It is the innate response of one who knows God that he supplies the needs of others. That's why Christians are not as prone to suffer as are non-Christians, because God always makes provision through others. We are concerned about others. Even unbelievers are sanctified by believers and receive the benefit. God not only feeds His people, in His mercy, He even feeds those who aren’t. How wonderful it is to know our loving Father is going to supply our needs. That's why our prayers are to focus on God, the One Who provides.
Now, let's move our concentration to verse 12, the subject of sin and its forgiveness. "And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors."
Debt is the Greek word "opheilēma." Twenty-five times it's used to speak of a moral debt.When you sin, you owe God. A debt means that which is justly or legally due. I know sin is not a popular subject in today's culture. Sin is unquestionably a major problem in our world. Sin not only damns men's souls forever, but it often brings immediate consequences. I believe that dealing with sin is humanities deepest need today. I would like you to notice, in this prayer, there is only one petition for our physical needs, and there are two for our spiritual needs. I believe that is because our spiritual needs are much more important. Our physical needs are met first, then our spiritual needs because we cannot live out spiritual principles unless we are physically alive. 
The basic request on the part of the inner man is for the forgiveness of sins. I believe that forgiveness is the most blessed, the greatest gift God ever gave to mankind. That is where is where God and man must come together, man confessing his sin and need for forgiveness and God forgiving his sin. Before God can deliver us from anything, we must have a relationship with Him. Because God is holy, that is only possible when our sins are dealt with. If there is any spiritual thing to be gained, it must begin with a petition for forgiveness.
I John 1 says "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
If you will notice, forgive is mentioned twice in verse 12. It is again mentioned twice in verse 14 and then again in verse 15. Forgive is mention six times in these three verses. Without God, we have no forgiveness of sin. Most evangelicals routinely talk about salvation, but without forgiveness, there is no salvation. Yet, most preachers neglect to even speak about what we are being saved from. In order to be saved, we need to be rescued from something. I believe that’s pretty basic. When you watch the news and you see that a team went in and rescued someone, it's because they were in danger. They aren't rescued from sitting on their sofa, watching television with their family. They were in grave danger. 

The Bible says sin is lawlessness. We know that because I John 3:4, tells that sin is lawlessness.
Sin is then, breaking God’s law, violating His holy standard. Sin is lawlessness.When we break God laws, we become guilty before God. So man is a sinner because he is lawless. Man is a sinner and sin is his problem. Because of sin, man becomes guilty and the judgment, or penalty for that guilt is death. Those who break God's law are sentenced to an eternal hell to pay that debt. But, because God is merciful, loving and forgiving, through Christ's death, He offers forgiveness. God wants to forgive us our sins. So though man is guilty and stands in judgement before God, God is a forgiving God. 
Hebrews 10 tells us "And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." Through Christ's death, God will no longer hold our sin against us. Because God is a just, righteous and a holy God, He cannot forgive sin unless sin’s penalty is paid. Christ took our place, He paid the price, which is death, for our sin. Forgiveness then, is offered by God on the ground of Christ’s death. So, because the penalty has been paid by Christ, forgiveness is available. Confession of sin is necessary for forgiveness. Forgiveness is a gift. Forgiveness is then only a matter of receiving the gift. Therefore, confession of sin is a manifestation necessary for receiving forgiveness.
Paul says in Acts 20, salvation is the result of "repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ." Therefore, no one ever receives salvation who isn’t repentant for sin. Repentance means to show remorse, to mourn over your sin to gain forgiveness from God whom you have wronged. You must acknowledge before God that you are a sinner, and are in need of His forgiveness. In other words, you plead for His mercy. Sin is the problem, forgiveness is the provision.  From the moment you place your faith in Christ, your sin is put on Him. You accept His payment for your sin. All of your sin debt is covered. Past, present and future.
When you come to Christ, you accept Him on His terms. It's an all or nothing proposition. In Matthew chapter 5, from the onset of the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, Jesus clearly described who will inherit the Kingdom of God. One cannot refuse to acknowledge his sinfulness, fails to acknowledge Christ as both Lord and Savior, who rejects His teaching, can receive salvation. Jesus confronted and condemned the religious teachers of His day for creating their own way to salvation. I believe this is a major issue in modern evangelism. They've changed terms of Christ's invitation to salvation. Just believe in Christ and say a little prayer, and you can forget everything He taught about sin and salvation. That's not how it works!
Over and over again, He said "You have heard that it was said," and followed it with their false teaching. And, in chapter 7, He boldly proclaims "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter." People are confused, because false preachers claim the name Christ, they think it's sound doctrine. Psalm 58 vividly compares sin to the venom of snakes. Sin brings men under the control of Satan. God draws a line between right and wrong. And when you cross that line, it's sin, whether it's in thought, word, or in act. Having forgiven our sin, past, present and future, is not a license to continue sinning against God. Salvation is not a "Get out of Hell-Free card."
That's why Paul says in Romans 6, "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?"  And, in verses 15-16, he goes on to say "What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?"
I have had a number of people say "Well, I’m already a Christian and all my sins are forgiven. I don't need to ask for forgiveness." May I remind you that this is a believer’s prayer, not unbelievers. It's called the Disciples Prayer. For the true Christian, there is a desire to practice righteousness. Now, that doesn’t mean that you don’t occasionally fall short, but even then, the desire is there and when you fail, you feel horribly about it and immediately repent. You no longer enjoy sin. And if you do enjoy sin and you don't feel badly about it, all I can say is God have mercy on your sin-sick soul! I pray that you won't go to sleep tonight without the forgiveness of Christ. It isn’t that God stops loving us when we sin, but confession restores our complete fellowship with God. If you haven't confessed your sin, there's unfinished business between you and God.
The last part of verse 12, "as we also have forgiven our debtors," tends to create a lot of confusion. This verse really is misunderstood by the Church today. I've had people ask "You mean I have to forgive someone before I can be forgiven?" That's a reasonable question. And, when you come back next time, we'll learn the answer to that question. Because we need to understand that basic truth. I'll just say this, being forgiven should be accompanied by being forgiving. When we fail to forgive others, we set ourselves up as a higher judge than God Himself. I believe that is the height of hypocrisy.

In Closing..

I find it is ironic that the Disciples Prayer, or the Lord's Prayer, as it is frequently called, is probably repeated more than any other prayer in modern church history. In many congregations, it is recited every Sunday. However, within it's context, Jesus warns us about rote repetition in prayer. It often uttered mechanically without thought of the mystery and missing the magnitude of these beautifully profound, poetic words. This powerful prayer, not only gives us the proper perspective of God, giving Him His rightful place as well as ourselves and others. The point of the prayer is not for us to get what we want, but to receive what we need from our Father, Who is the source of all things. 

It's no secret, we are living in challenging times, the world is in such turmoil, prayer, forgiveness and trusting God to provide have become even more necessary. We have all sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God, and are in need of His love, mercy and grace. How much more freely should we who have received such a tremendous gift, be willing to extend it to others?  May we not only be willing but eager to share this tremendous treasure.

May it be so..   

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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"It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good." We should not only yield to the divine will, but acquiesce in it so as to rejoice in the tribulation which it ordains.

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