Mark 11

“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”(v. 25)

Here we see two great principles for prayer. The first, which I have covered several times in these writings, is that we must believe that what we ask will come to pass, and we shall have it. Verses 23 and 24 make this quite clear, in verse 23 it is believing the things that we say, and in verse 24, the things that we receive. There is no real sense in asking if we don’t believe we will get them, or see them come to pass, but believing it is harder to do than most of us realize. Will we waste God’s time as well as ours? The second is that we must forgive others their trespasses against us before we can expect to see our prayers answered. No, we can not harbor bitterness in our heart against anyone and expect God to work wonders on our behalf. This is taught in Mt. 5:23, and 24, and Christ makes it clear that we must first forgive and reconcile before we even bring our petitions before Him, be they gifts or favors! Remember, there is a difference between “trespass” sin and “transgression.” “Trespasses” are those encroachments on another’s being or property, or, more specifically, they have to do with our relationship to our fellow man. Though our transgressions are forgiven at Calvary, our trespasses must be reconciled here, but that is another subject for us to consider at another time.

Our text verse makes it clear that we are to approach those who offended us, and not wait for them to approach us. The burden of reconciliation then, rests on us, and not on them; we see the instruction for this in Matthew 18, and the command is from Christ Himself. This verse says “If ye have ought against any”, but Mt. 18 tells us even if they have ought against us we are to go to them and reconcile! (v. 16). The street goes both directions at once.

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