Prayer review, Part 6: introduction; John 15:16.

Class Outline:

Title: Prayer review, Part 6: introduction; John 15:16.


j. What legitimate and illegitimate prayer?


Matt 6:11 Give [aorist active imperative] us today for tomorrow’s bread. [corrected translation]


Summarize Eph 5 - 6.


Matt 6:12 'And forgive [imperative] us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. [this refers specifically to monetary obligations, no one owes us debt on sin]


The word for debt originally meant that which is justly or legally due or that which is owed. This noun is only used here and in ROM 4:4.


ROM 4:4

Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due.


Yet as we investigate the true interpretation of this petition we look to Luke’s parallel record:


Luke 11:4

'And forgive us our sins [hamartias = sin, offence, violation],

For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.


Yet Luke’s recording holds the inference of debt in the second line. Indebted is the participle of the same root word as debt, the noun, in Matt 6:22.


So we have sin, debt as in that which is justly due, and monetary debt specifically when we look at the context.


Matt 6:24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other [eventually this will occur]. You cannot serve God and mammon [money].


So if you don’t mind me working backwards:

 “forgiven our debtors” refers to forgiving a financial debt as well as any sins against you.


Everyone has a desire for money, some more than others, just like those entangled in the details of life, some more than others. Money isn’t evil. It is necessary in any market system. The love of money is the root of all evil.


Everyone has a desire to strike back when hurt or sinned against or treated unfairly. It is God’s desire to free us from both debts as He has always been free of them.


The mental attitude of gracious giving and forgiving debts and iniquities are God’s way of releasing us from the bondage of wealth and evil people.

God is eternal so there is no one before Him to claim prosperity and no one after Him who can substitute their own prosperity. No evil thing will prosper, no evil thought will prosper. Selfishness, human or angelic substitutes for God’s good, unforgiving attitudes, bitterness, hatred, ambition, etc are not of God and therefore they will never prosper. Yet God’s desire is for you to prosper, so He has devised a plan to remove these things from you. Trusting in His promises instead of worry, giving away instead of hording, forgiving instead of vengeance, freedom instead of guilt; these are the fabric of true prosperity because they are the mind of God.


Hording, controlling, hating, attacking, murdering, guilting, etc. are all the products of fallen creatures that ruin lives. 


And you can most certainly be in bondage to wealth and not have any. You can hate, etc. without having been attacked.


Prov 11:24

There is one who scatters, yet increases all the more,

And there is one who withholds what is justly due, but it results only in want.


We immediately jump to money when we read this verse, but it applies to anything that can be given away, like compassion, forgiveness, grace orientation, comfort, love, etc.


The parallel irony that is here reflecting God’s matchless grace is that He did withhold what was justly due us, but not by solely erasing the debt, rather having His Son pay the debt so that the penalty would be withheld from us as it was poured upon Him.


And so, this act of God the Father, Son, HS determined since eternity past is the epitome of grace. Grace being the free gift bestowed through the work of Christ (Righteousness at salvation) and the withholding of what was justly due (condemnation) on those who believed. By the sacrificial act of God in grace He prospers by receiving that which He did not possess before (let me put a caveat there), many sons.


Prov 11:25

The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.


I have frequently said that we cannot give to God anything more than He already has since He is infinite, perfect, and cannot be promoted any higher. This is true. God’s glory is from Himself, from His being and character, and not from anything that we do. What I failed to recognize is that God could prosper Himself through generosity.


HEB 2:10

For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.


Through grace, generosity, and sacrifice God prospered.


And here’s the caveat. I would not say that He prospered more since God is not a slave to time as we are. We look at more prosperity as being yet future since we must live chronologically and God is not like that. He is the future, the past, and the present all at once. (wrap your mind around that!)


2 Peter 3:8

 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.


Matt 6:12

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


As with the first petition where we are not actually asking God for bread but rather we’re asking for the affirmation and assistance with our understanding of logistical grace, so here we are not demanding that we be forgiven, we are forgiven under grace through the work of Christ. We are laying our anxieties about any sin upon Him. We are forgiven, but if you doubt that or if you have guilt about the past then the believer priest has the right to go to the throne of the Father and find the mercy that he lacks. This does not work as some quickie substitution to doctrine. This outline of prayer only works alongside doctrine. Remember our main verse, so that you bear fruit and that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give you.


Prayer is not a problem solving device. It can be used as a weapon for the assistance of problem solving doctrines.


We are asking the Father to assist us in our understanding of redemption, reconciliation, and propitiation, while at the same time being reminded in prayer that we must forgive others.


The answer may come immediately through the doctrine stored in your own soul, or it may come from the pulpit that night or the next, but always in the perfect timing of God. God must and will answer these three petitions for they are always a part of His will. Again, the procedure for prayer must be followed and you must be taking in doctrine continually, or if you haven’t, you must begin again.


James 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,


James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.


James 1:4 And let endurance [remaining in it and applying doctrine; not trying to get out] have its perfect result, that you may be perfect [mature] and complete, lacking in nothing.


James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.


The context of James 1:5, “asking God for wisdom” is during the testing of your faith or doctrine that is already in your heart.


These petitions for reminders and assistance are meaningless if we are not taking in doctrine consistently.


And if we are not forgiving others then what can we expect?


Matt 6:14 "For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.


Matt 6:15 "But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.


Claiming the forgiveness that results from the cross means that you are claiming the justice of God (propitiation).


If you do not forgive others and expect forgiveness for yourself then you are claiming God’s justice for yourself only and are not agreeing with His perfect Justice.


If you are hypocritical in this then you don’t actually agree with that justice; rather you only agree with it when it suits or benefits you and so justice cannot apply to you. God treats all in justice, not just a few.