This deeply challenging petition includes a declaration too. First, we are asking God for His forgiveness for ourselves. But, it is linked to the second part of the phrase with the word ‘as’. This two lettered word means there is an ongoing request-that we also have to forgive those who have wronged, hurt and sinned against us. One cannot be said or done without the other, otherwise, it voids the whole phrase – ie no forgiveness from God.
It’s an exceedingly hard action to implement, yet worth the amazing gift of forgiveness it gives not only ourselves but the one to whom forgiveness is freely given. The prayers’ radical challenge has a transforming power that heals and restores relationships, beyond what was thought possible. It is not possible to do this without God’s help.
‘Jesus tightly links our relationship with God to our relationship with others. It works two ways. If we have not seen our sin and sought radical forgiveness from God, we will be unable to forgive and to seek the good of those who have wronged us. So unresolved bitterness is a sign that we are not right with God.’ Timothy Keller: Prayer, Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, Pg 115-116
To truly forgive each other as God has forgiven us is a huge challenge that if every family, community and nation took on, would probably produce peace in the world! As hurt, pain and anger are often underly unforgiveness, we need God’s love, grace and courage to help us face what may seem like the impossible challenge of forgiving one another.
‘If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.’
1 John 1: 8-10
‘If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.’ Matthew 6:14-15
‘You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’
Father God, you know and love me so much and you want the very best for me. I hurt people, accidentally or intentionally and have the wrong attitude to many things each and every day. I need your forgiveness each and every day too. To deny that I sin would be a lie, and the Bible says I would be calling God a liar too.
To forgive those who have wronged me, intentionally or unintentionally is the hardest thing in the world to do, especially when I feel as though they should get the punishment for hurting me. My defences go up, and I want to live my life protected from what other people might add to the hurts in my heart. I put up the walls in my heart, and yet in the process end up hurting myself and rejecting or distancing myself from those around me.
Lord, I need your forgiveness, and so I have to face the challenge of forgiving those who have hurt me. If I choose not to forgive, you won’t forgive me, so I find myself in a place where I am forced to make a decision. Deep down, I want your forgiveness and the freedom that comes with it. So, with a huge dose of courage and faith, I choose to forgive them. It takes time and energy to do this, but it is worth the deep relief inside and the change in me. Most of all, I get your forgiveness as I am no more perfect that the person who wronged me. Only Jesus can give that perfection as he died as the perfect sacrifice. Thank you Jesus!
As I think about the Royal family, I pray that each one would find the path to forgive the other-where there is any bitterness, offence and anger. To forgive close members of the family can be harder, especially if there are frequent family gatherings. I pray for each member of the Royal Family, that they would have the grace, courage and determination to approach the other person and ask for forgiveness. Help them to face and deal with issues that seem impossible in their own eyes. Give them your eyes of grace and love towards the person who they have offended, or been offended by. Dissolve all bitterness I ask.
As the media pick up on attitudes, facial expressions and remarks made, I pray that these type of conversations would remain private and away from the public eye. I pray that you would protect them from being overheard by those that do not need to hear the conversation, whether other family members or the Royal Household staff. Lord, may the offences that arise be dealt with fast, and not left until it seems unmanageable and unresolvable. Give them daily doses of your Holy Spirit, wise counsel from the Royal Chaplains and Her Majesty to seek an amazing level of unity.
I pray that as old offences and bitterness issues are dealt with, that there would be a greater awareness of Your presence and love within the Royal family. Lord, may this deeper care and concern towards one another bring a new level of healing within the family, institution and the nation as a result. They are role models in many facets of a global society and are able to encourage the nation. Your peace passes all understanding, and I ask for that inner peace and freedom which comes as a result of forgiveness will be evident to those that watch and work for this family.
Father, as you restore broken hearts with those that are clean and whole, it is for Your glory, not our own. As the Royal family seek the forgiveness and take the low road of humility. As they seek restoration, I pray that you would exalt them in the nation because of their faith, belief and action on the words in this prayer. I long to see Your kingdom come to the Royal family like never before.
In your loving name, I ask,