"Forgive us our trespasses." This we pray in the Lord’s Prayer. Prayer sometimes does not come easy for us. We like to watch tv, play video games, and watch sports. There are so many other thing we would rather do, than pray. But, what a blessing to make time for it – for the benefits of prayer are endless.
Over the last several weeks we have been looking at the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer that Jesus himself has given us. He invites us into His prayer, so that we may know who He is and what He is doing in our lives. As we get tired or lazy in prayer – there is one who never fails. Jesus Christ prays for us. He prays for this school. He prays for his whole church on earth. But most importantly He prays for every one of you. This morning, before you awoke Jesus was busy praying for you. Your name is on His heart and on His lips. He calls you by name. And he prays for you by name.
Now imagine how comforting it is when a friend or family member looks you deeply in the eye and says, “I am praying for you.” That is a wonderful blessing to know that others love you and care for you. And they take the time to pause during the day, to pray to God just for you. And how wonderful it is that we are able to pray with each other today – gathered together in the house of the Lord. For your comfort and your health – and your joy.
Now, just try to imagine the Son of God praying for you. This is not just any Son. The Son who commands the winds and the skies – the eternal Son of God who laid the earth’s foundation. Who set the Sun and the Moon and the stars in place. He is the one who prays for you. The Lord who made you in the womb of your mother, who knit your body together. He makes it is life’s work to live all for you – to pray all for you. If he created the heavens and earth, how much will he do for you? You, whom he calls son and daughter, and brother and sister? His prayers for you will keep you safe in all trouble. For in those prayers, in the Lord’s Prayer, is the power of God himself.
When Jesus was praying at the Mount of Olives on that dark, dark night, before his arrest – He prayed for us. Though sweating blood and crying tears He prayed. As he was waiting to be arrested, and ridiculed - there he was - praying for his whole church – thinking and remembering us all. Even when He was being led to the cross He prayed. When he was suffering hell itself on the cross, He loved us all – even asking the heavenly Father to forgive His own murderers, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”
Even while we are sleeping he prays for us. When we are neglecting prayer – He guards us and our homes with the Words of His prayer.
Today we concentrate on these words of the Lord’s Prayer “Forgive us our trespasses.” Ever wonder why Jesus would pray to be forgiven? Why would the one who had no sin, ask to be forgiven? Why does he want to pray for that? He is the Holy One – the Holy of Holies – the righteous Son of God. What need does he have for forgiveness?
Just as we are never alone in our prayer, we are also never alone when we are tempted and find ourselves in deep sin and misery. The Holy One is so very holy because he identifies with his whole creation. He identifies Himself with us, who are often lost and confused. He prays with us for forgiveness, because he desires to bear our sin – taking all of our shame – all of our sin – He makes it all his. We are not alone in prayer and we are not alone with our sin. He makes it all His business. He makes all of our lives His life’s work.
His work is all complete – and this coming Easter we will celebrate with all the voices, bells, and trumpets we can find. He has done all things well for you – for He rose from the dead and destroyed all the powers of sin, death, and the devil. Now, forgiveness pours out in abundance from Jesus.
Through the Lord’s Prayer we know exactly what the Lord is doing for you. He is bringing you to the heavenly Father, as one with whom he is perfectly pleased. His will is that you believe in Him and let his love have its way with you. He wants to free you from all your worries and comfort you with His forgiveness.
And when we take hold of this gift and cling to it, Jesus calls us back into our daily lives to forgive others as He has forgiven us. This is the power of forgiveness – to make all things brand new. In this newness of life we can love as he has loved, and do as He has done. And now, together, what we all do very best, is forgive. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” In the name of Jesus.