The fourth phrase in Jesus’ model prayer is:
“…And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” – Matthew 6:12
Genuinely asking for someone’s forgiveness goes against pride. It’s based on contrition and repentance; whereas superficial requests are self-centered attempts to “save face”. When the real thing takes place, there is joy, thanks, and motivation to show the same attitude toward others. Jesus also mentioned this:
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespass.” – Mark 11:25
Being redeemed is forgiveness received, and being a disciple is forgiveness given. For the one seeking to be right with God, both need to be happening (receiving and giving). Thankfully, God’s forgiveness isn’t based on merit, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, ours shouldn’t be either.
Are you willing to forgive today? Are you willing to offer it before being asked to? “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors…”