Forgive Us As We Have Forgiven Others
Daniel, the great prophet and prayer warrior, has set an example for us in how to pray and intercede for a nation.
“Ah, Lord, great and awesome God, keeping covenant and steadfast love with those who love you and keep your commandments, we have sinned and done wrong, acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and ordinances. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. (Daniel:9:4-6)
Daniel was a holy man by the standards of his day. Yet Daniel identified with those Israelites who rebelled against God. He did not hold himself apart. The psalmist pleaded for Israel as well, appealing to God’s mercy, but he did not overlook his sin or that of the nation.
Remember not our past sins;
let your compassion be swift to meet us;
for we have been brought very low.
Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of your Name;
deliver us and forgive us our sins, for your Name’s sake. (Psalm 79:8-9)
How do we pray? Do we judge ourselves more highly than others? Jesus warned against this:
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” (Luke 6:37-38)
God does not need our lecture prayers, telling him what he must do. He is looking for a broken and contrite heart. If we want to intercede for others as well as ourselves, then we must stop judging others. All judgment belongs to God. The way to stop judging people is to forgive them. Jesus tells us that we must forgive even our enemies:
“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. (Luke 6:27–28)