Forgive Us Our Debts

Teach Us To Pray Part 7

Forgive Us Our Debts – Matthew 6:5-8

Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – Oct. 21st, 2018



  • The goal of this series is to provide a greater understanding of how Jesus taught us to pray so that our prayer lives will be enriched and enhanced. This series will help us to be encouraged and empowered to pray with confidence and focus to a fuller degree in our prayers.
  • We have learned that we are neither to pray as hypocrites nor as people who pile up meaningless words. We are to first focus on God, His name, His glory, His kingdom and His will.  Then second, we are to focus on our needs, our relationships, our temptations and our protection.
  • This morning we are focusing on this verse:


Matt 6:12 ESV

and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.


  • The emphasis of this verse is that we would have right relationship with God and with others by acknowledging our debts (sins) between us and God, and asking for forgiveness as we also choose to forgive others who have debts (sins) against us.


Forgive us our debts

  • We are asking God for forgiveness for our debts, our trespasses, our failings, our sins that we have committed against God and others (all sin is ultimately committed against God).
  • This means that there is a standard or a law that we have broken – either failing to love God with all we are or failing to love others as ourselves. All sin is breaking the law of love and is a violation of the good boundaries that we are to live within. It breaks and damages our relationships, which violates the character and perfection of God.  This is a right and wrong, and there is behavior that is helpful or harmful.  Loving or unloving, just or unjust.
  • Notice that this prayer first starts with us: Ourdebts, ourfailures, ourtrespasses, our
  • This reminds us that we are sinners –
    • Which makes us look at ourselves
    • Which reminds us we are responsible for our motives and actions
    • Which keeps us humble and helps us to not be proud or self-righteous
    • Which reminds us to not do things again and keeps us accountable and focused
    • Which puts us back in right/clear relationship with God
    • Which puts us in the right frame of mind to be willing to forgive others of their sins, trespasses and debts against us.


Forgive others their debts

  • This part is not praying that others would be convicted of their sins and that we would be vindicated. It is a prayer that we in our hearts would forgive others of this sins against us.
  • In doing so, we set ourselves free from the continued effects of the wounds we have received. It is like removing the poison arrow that has been shot at us.  It still means that we will need time to heal, but it puts us in a position to no longer allow the poison to seep into our lives which would make our hearts hard toward others.
  • This prayer reminds us that we have a responsibility to forgive others their sins against us
    • This is easier to do when we have just asked forgiveness of our sins. It frees us of self-righteousness and helps us not become bitter.
    • It then allows us to be in right relationship with others and helps us not to hold grudges. It is hard to hate people you have forgiven . . . this does not mean you trust them but means you don’t hold their sin against them. There is a difference between forgiveness and reconciliation.  Forgiveness requires one person; reconciliation requires two people and takes some time to regain trust.  Forgiveness is the first and necessary step that allows us to be open to being reconciled to others.
  • Forgiveness is a big deal with God- so much so that after Jesus instructs us as to how we are to pray he says this:


Matt 6:14-15 ESV

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.


  • This is crazy serious! This is saying that we have no right to expect God to forgive us of our sins if we ourselves are unwilling to forgive other for their sins. Having right, good, clear, unhindered, loving relationships is the evidence of love. It is the bond that holds all things together.   Having right relationship with God and having right relationship with others is connected.  Jesus said:


Mark 11:21 ESV

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.


Matt 5:23-25 ESV

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.


  • In our times of prayer and worship, Jesus instructs us to first put things right with others – if you have anything against someone and if someone has anything against you – then return to your worship and offering your gifts.
  • Why is this important? Because our corporate worship in corrupted, undermined and weakened when we are not in unity because of our sin against each other. Our worship is hindered because of our sins toward each other.  How beautiful it is to see a body that is unified with each other in our worship of God.
  • This is the standard we are to have with each other


Eph 4:32 NIV

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.



  • When you pray – remember, recite and be reconciled to God because of our sin.Don’t just skip over this and leave it out of our prayers. Right relationships are in the center of the heart of God.
  • Why you pray – choose to forgive others of their sins against you – don’t hold it against them but choose to live and walk in forgiveness.
  • Prayer and communion