Summary: this is the four sermon in a series dealing with things that hinder our prayer life
HINDRANCES TO PRAYER
LESSON #4: UNFORGIVENESS
TEXT: Matt. 6:14-15
What was our lesson last week?
When Jesus would ask, “believest thou that I am able to do this” what was he looking for?
A seed of faith from which a miracle could grow.
How does Jesus want us to come to him in prayer?
What is the great thing about faith?
You don’t have to understand every thing.
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Another hindrance to our prayer is an unwillingness to forgive others
It is interesting that this scripture follows right after Jesus gives the disciples the model prayer “the Lords prayer”
They have been watching Him pray
They realize something is missing in their prayers so they ask Him ‘teach us to pray’
- Show us how to pray like you do
- We need some direction in our prayers
- Our prayers are not like yours
So Jesus gives them the model prayer
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Then He gives them this text
What He is saying here is
- You can pray all you want
- You can have all the right words
- You can know all the catch phrases
If you are not willing to forgive others, God will not hear your prayers.
But unless there is forgiveness in your heart
- Unless you have a right spirit
- Unless you have a right heart
- Unless you have an attitude of forgiveness
God will not hear you
For some of us this is not an easy thing
- There are wrongs that have been done against us
- There are things that have been done to us
- Words have been spoken
25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
If your prayers are being hindered ask yourself
- Unforgiveness in my heart?
- Bitterness in my life?
Am I holding a grudge against a brother or sister?
These things will stand in the way of your prayers being answered
Forgiveness is not an issue of right or wrong
- We may be right
- There may have been a true injustice done to us
- We may have a legitimate complaint
- We may have truly been wronged
Being right is never an excuse to not forgive.
Jesus is right to judge us
He would be right to send us all to hell
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
23 For the wages of sin is death;
He was willing to forgive us
and He asks that we be willing to forgive others
We have to be willing to lay aside our injustices
We have to be willing to say
- I’m sorry
- I forgive you
- Will you forgive me?
Sometimes the only way to forgive is by asking for forgiveness.
You mean I have to say I am sorry even when I am right?
Sometimes this is the only way to open the door of forgiveness
Many times the other person
The one that has wronged us
- Or cheated us
- Or lied to us
- Or violated us in some way
They feel that they too are in the right
They beleive you are the one in the wrong
If you go to them and say “I forgive you”
It sounds as if you are casting blame
Not only will they not forgive but it may open up a whole new argument.
The proper way is to go to them with a spirit of humbleness
Saying I’m sorry
- Saying I’m wrong even when I may feel I’m right is humbling
But if you go with this spirit, there will be forgiveness
That forgiveness may not come from them
Some people don’t want to forgive
- They may laugh at you
- They may mock you
- They may not forgive you