Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
The key to forgiveness is that we must be willing to forgive as well. They way Jesus phrases His prayer tells us just this. We shouldn’t ask for forgiveness if we continue to hold something against another person. In fact, if we pray this prayer while not forgiving someone else, we’re actually asking the Lord to not forgiven us. We are asking to be forgiven in the same manner that we have forgiven others.
Jesus told a parable about a man who had been forgiven a great debt by the king. This same man had someone who owed him money beaten and thrown into prison because he couldn’t pay a much smaller debt. When the king discovered that the man whose debt he had forgiven acted this way, he had him thrown into prison.
Forgiveness is more than simply words, it is an attitude. We can say we’re sorry and ask for forgiveness but if we are not truly sorry, it means nothing. We must have a heart that is repentant to go along with the words that we say.
Whether we are willing to forgive others indicates whether we truly desire to be forgiven and deserve to be forgiven. Before we ask God to forgive us, we must be willing to let go of the hurt and pain that others may have caused us and forgive them. Then we can boldly ask God to forgive us for the things that we have done wrong.