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“As we forgive”

We are not asking God to model his forgiveness on ours; we are declaring our full participation in the reality of forgiveness. We do not ask for mercy while continuing to live in the land of bitterness and revenge; we are declaring our citizenship in the realm of grace.

The Prayer for Week 4: “As we forgive”

To you, O God, all voices rise,
and you hear the cries of the whole human community.
Send forth your Spirit into every heart
that we may live forgiven and forgiving. Amen

The Fifth Petition: “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

What does this mean?

We ask in this prayer that our Father in heaven would not hold our sins against us and because of them refuse to hear our prayer. And we pray that he would give us everything by grace, for we sin every day and deserve nothing but punishment. So we on our part will heartily forgive and gladly do good to those who sin against us.

The Small Catechism by Martin Luther in Contemporary English, Augsburg Publishing, ©1960,1968