The Prayer Language – Part VIII – Pardon You. Pardon Me.

Does the structure, or order, of Jesus’ model prayer matter?  Well, not in a legalistic sense.  Jesus Himself warned against “empty phrases” or “vain repetition,” so our private prayers should come from the heart more than from the memory.  But there is something to be said for following Jesus’ example in terms of the “order” of our prayers.  By the time we’ve recognized His greatness, subjected our will to His, and acknowledged that He is our sole Provider, our hearts should be soft enough to ask for His daily pardon.  But we must be careful to not stop after the first five words of Matthew 6:12, “and forgive us our debts.”  We must realize that we have no right to expect God’s daily pardon of us if we ourselves don’t have a forgiving heart toward others who have wronged us (“as we also have forgiven our debtors.”).