I received the greatest gift on my birthday last week. My 5 year old nephew recited “The Lord’s Prayer” for me. It was so precious, especially since he was a preemie baby and has special needs. He said the prayer twice for me and I noticed something interesting about the prayer…he left the same phrase out both times. I’ll write it out like he said it. See if you can figure out what he left out:
“Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed by Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the glory and power forever. Amen.”
Did you catch it? I really chuckled when I heard him leave this part out…especially the second time. I don’t blame him at all, it’s a part I would love to leave out too.
“As we forgive those who trespass against us”
Yep, that part’s a doozy! Jesus knew it would be. He told a parable about this very issue:
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Oh Lord, help us to forgive those who trespass against us.