During our study on prayer, we have been pointing out the different principles Jesus taught His disciples to follow concerning prayer. Remember Matthew 6:9-13. Jesus was giving a pattern of pray to follow. He wasn't giving a prayer to recite, word for word. The first thing we must do in prayer is acknowledge God as our Father. Second, we must praise Him for loving and caring for us. We can never praise Him enough for all He has done for us.
In this session, we want to look at the principle of forgiveness. It is important to understand that prayer will not work in an unforgiving heart. We cannot hold unforgiveness in our heart against anyone and maintain a prayer life that get results. Many believers know what God's Word says about forgiveness. They also know that, if they hold unforgiveness or bitterness in their heart against anyone, things will not go well in their life and they can't live a blessed life. Many doctors contribute resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness as reasons for sickness and disease. They have discovered when patients forgive and get rid of any resentment and bitterness, many of their symptoms cleared up.
In Matthew 6:12, Jesus says "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors". Notice, we can ask God to forgive us as we forgive. Mark records Jesus as saying in Mark 11:25: "And when you stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses". Matthew 6:14-15 says; "For if ye forgive men their trespasses your Heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses". You can see in there passage of scripture that Jesus is saying our prayer life is connected to our forgiving.
Since forgiveness affects our prayer life, we should be ever ready to forgive, so our prayers will not be hindered and we have a successful prayer life!