Prayer is a wonderful thing. Because it allows our souls to connect with the One who created them. Yet there are things that can keep us from having a successful prayer life. Stumbling blocks that dam up the flow of communication between us and God. And unforgiveness is one of them. So much so, Mark warns us that before we pray, we need to be free of unforgiveness towards others. Why? So that we in turn can receive the forgiveness of God.
Forgiving others is hard, messy, and painful. Yet no matter how many times, or how badly we’ve been betrayed, hurt, or disappointed, Jesus says we are to forgive. In fact, forgiveness is so important to the Lord, when teaching the disciples to pray in Matthew 6, He includes in His prayer, “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” How many times do we recite the Lord’s Prayer with unforgiveness harbored in our hearts?
Having a spirit of unforgiveness hinders more than just our prayers. It affects our relationship with God. For not only does it keep us from receiving His pardon for our own sins, but also His peace, grace, and mercy. And it grieves the very Spirit of God living inside of us. Because unforgiveness is a toxin of the Enemy, poisoning our minds, hearts, and souls.
In our own strength such forgiveness is impossible. But through God’s transforming power, we can pull the weed of unforgiveness, stopping it from taking root and spreading. And when we are free from its stronghold, we can approach God with the assurance that when we come Him in prayer, all things we ask will be granted according to His goodness and perfect will.