“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”
Why is our lack of condemnation so important to our prayer life and our relationship with Christ? Because of reciprocity. No one can have one attitude toward others and a different one before God! We cannot, John says, “hate our visible brother and love the invisible God” (1 John 4:20). The one who does not love others does not know God, who is love (John 4:8). James insists you cannot bless God and curse those made in his image (James 3:9). True humility, before God, he insists, will show up as humility with other people (James 4:6-12). Jesus tells us our forgiveness from God is contingent on our forgiveness of others (Matthew 6:14-15). Explicitly with regard to prayer, he says “If you are praying, forgive anything you have against anyone, so your Father in the heavens may forgive you” (Mark 11:25).
Gracious God, We do not want to have split spiritual personalities, adapting one posture with you and another attitude with others. Grant us a unified heart and life. Help us let go of grudges, and condemning attitudes so that we can know more of the freedom and security of your Kingdom and more of the joy of your presence. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.