In the above passage where Jesus is telling His disciples how to have mountain-moving faith, we discover that walking in forgiveness has a direct effect on our prayers. We like to think of forgiving someone who offends us as a process. We think to ourselves, I need time to get over how they hurt me. And that may be true in some cases. But Jesus reveals here that most of the time, we can forgive others instantaneously. Why? Because forgiveness is not a feeling - it's a decision.
Before I surrendered my life to Christ for real, I could hold grudges for years. It was easy for me, because it came naturally to me. Back then, I could sever all ties with someone - even someone who I had been in relationship with for years - without a thought. If they offended me, I didn't need them, so I would walk away and never look back. Now I know that this kind of behavior is offensive to God, and that it greatly hinders my prayers.
The Amplified translation of Mark 11:25 really hits home. "Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him [DROP THE ISSUE, let it go], so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions and wrongdoings [against Him and others]." Right in the middle of our prayers, we can make a quality decision to forgive those who have offended us. We can think of how they hurt us, and we can promptly "drop the issue" and "let it go." Jesus says it can be that quick to get over our ill feelings toward someone, and to open the door to receiving ready answers to our prayers.
Satan would like nothing better than for us to hold grudges, and to refuse to forgive. He knows that unforgiveness can hold us in bondage, thwart God's purposes in our lives, and prevent us from having mountain-moving faith. With all that's at stake - including our loved ones' eternal destinies, we can't afford to walk in unforgiveness. Jesus says that you have the power to get over your offenses quickly. Are you ready to obey Him?
Prayer: Lord, thank You for giving me the power by Your Spirit to choose to forgive others when they offend me in any way. Help me to make that choice every time I suffer injustice, or any kind of hurt. Comfort me and bind up my wounds as only You can do. As for those who are "repeat offenders," help me to forgive them, as I keep them at a safe distance from me. Thank You that as I obey You in this area, my prayers will be more powerful, and I will make a greater impact on this world for Your glory!
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