The Prayer of Reconciliation | Forgive | George Hinman

Review: Last week, what did you learn about your prayer life as you considered if your requests were for “daily bread” or independence from God?  What changes did you make?

Introduction: Jesus was skeptical of prayer.  So much of what passes for prayer amounts to nothing more than what he called “heaping up empty phrases” (Matthew 6:7).  And if that’s all it is, maybe that’s why we are skeptical too and why we struggle to do it; it hardly feels worth the time.  In an era of do-it-yourself spirituality, what does Jesus have to teach us about effective prayer?  Maybe if we understood it as he did, we would do it as he did.  Because although he was skeptical, he also had deep conviction.  We read “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16).

We continue our study of prayer with the phrase, “And forgive us our debt, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”  Now Jesus liberates relationship from cycles of rejection.  Consider what this means for our relationships. 

Pray: Lord, teach us to pray. Help us to respond to the love relationship that you have called us. Amen.

Read: Matthew 6:7-13

Discussion:

  1.  What does Jesus mean by “debt” and “debtors” (or “trespasses” and “trespass”)?
  2.  What other scriptures talk about forgiveness of our debt or sin?

    What other scriptures talk about forgiving others debts/sins/trespasses?
  3. Consider the phrase in the middle of the passage, “as we also have….”
    What does this mean?

    Does this seem ‘backwards’ to you?  Why or why not?
  4. How does the passage speak into our relationship with God?

    With other people?
  5. How would living into this passage reverse cycles of rejection by creating cycles of grace?
  6. Do you find it difficult to live consistently following this passage?
    Why or Why not?
  7. How does the forgiveness Jesus gives transform your relationship with God?

    How could always forgiving others transform your relationships?

Application:  This week think about how you can forgive others. 

Pray: Lord, thank you for the gift of forgiveness. Help us to have the grace to forgive others. Amen.

 

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