“Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us” (Matthew 6:15).
Praying for “daily bread” – or means for our sustenance, affirms our dependence on God. He is the un-failing Provider – Jehovah-Jireh.
Our Father in heaven is providing generously and faithfully for our daily bodily needs. But man doesn’t live on bread alone…
With this sentence (v.12) the believer is praying for “soul food” – food for the soul. What feeds the soul?
One thing that feeds the soul is forgiveness: forgiveness given and forgiveness received. There is a reason why Paul wrote, “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:26, 27).
Grudge/anger/un-forgiveness will make your sleep miserable… it will make your life miserable…it gives the devil a foothold. Actually, unresolved “debt” can cause us to become bitter and destroy us from within.
The foundation of forgiveness, in general, is God. He is depicted in the Old Testament as merciful. He is described as “slow to anger” and “abounding in love/mercy,” “compassionate and gracious”. He is ready to forgive.
Do we owe God anything? Because our prayer is addressed to God so that He may forgive our debts…what do we owe to God? Certainly not money…or other material things.
Paul gives us a hint of our “debt” “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21).
God forgives because He decides to forgive. Our forgiveness is worked out according to God’s plan (grace and mercy). “Therefore…through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified” (Acts 13:38, 39). Forgive and be forgiven.