Prayer and Love
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who also is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. —Mark 11:24-25
The first lesson we are taught here is to have a forgiving disposition. We should pray, “Forgive us just as we have forgiven others.” Scripture says, “Forgiving one another . . . even as Christ forgave you” (Col. 3:13). God’s full and free forgiveness should be the model of our forgiveness of men; otherwise, our reluctant, half-hearted forgiveness, which is not forgiveness at all, will be God’s rule with us. All of our prayers depend on our faith in God’s pardoning grace. If God dealt with us while keeping our sins in mind, not one prayer would be heard. Pardon opens the door to all God’s love and blessing. Because God has pardoned all our sins, our prayers can go through to obtain all we need.
The deep, sure ground of answer to prayer is God’s forgiving love. When it has taken possession of our hearts, we pray in faith. But also, when it has taken possession of our hearts, we live in love. God’s forgiving nature, revealed to us in His love, becomes our nature. With the power of His forgiving love dwelling in us, we forgive just as He forgives.
If great injury or injustice occurs, try first of all to assume a godlike disposition. Avoid the sense of wounded honor, the desire to maintain your rights, and the need to punish the offender. In the little annoyances of daily life, never excuse a hasty temper, a sharp word, or a quick judgment with the thought that we mean no harm, or that it is too much to expect feeble human nature to really forgive the way God and Christ do. Take the command literally: “Even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Col. 3:13). The blood cleanses selfishness from the conscience. The love it reveals is a pardoning love that takes possession of us and flows through us to others. Our forgiving love toward men is the evidence of God’s forgiving love in us. It is a necessary condition of a prayer of faith.
Let the word of God search us. Ask whether our prayers are indeed the expression of lives completely given over to the will of God and the love of man. Love is the only soil in which faith can take root and thrive. Only in the love of fixed purpose and sincere obedience can faith obtain the blessing. —Andrew Murray
· Who in my life am I struggling to forgive? Am I desiring to maintain my rights or feeling a need to punish?
· If Christ forgave me like I forgive others, what exactly would that look like?
Prayer: Father, it is so convicting to see how little I forgive, yet I know how important that is to You. So much of my life of faith relies on my understanding of just how much You offer to me by Your grace. I need to respond to this fact by passing it on to others. Help me to love as You do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.