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Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive

Good morning, welcome to the 6th brief morning message of this campaign of prayer and devotion. Today is Feb 8 2021, and the Lord is inviting us to draw near so that He may remind us a significant spiritual principle, which plays an important role, and determines whether our prayers are received; further, it defines our relationship with the Lord.

This prayer and devotion campaign started on Feb. 1, when the Lord drew our attention to Matthew 7:7. He gave a call for this month of February, that we dedicate it to ASKING from the Lord that it may be given to us, to SEEKING that we may find, and to KNOCKING through this daily commitment so that every closed door that is hindering us may be opened, that we may conquer the promises and experience the blessings of the Lord in our lives.

When someone goes to a war-like campaign, it is not enough to be well prepared on his own. It is equally needed that he knows the strength of the enemy to put up a resistance. When we first remove the enemy’s capacity to resist, it is then easy to defeat him in the battlefield. Therefore the battle and the victory are determined from before on the basis of how much we can remove the enemy’s ability to resist us.

In Matthew 7:7 where the Lord is calling us to ask, seek, and knock, He starts from verse 1 by explaining how decisive is our relationship with others:

Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? …
5 “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

This is an exhortation for self-examination and cleansing before we even begin to pray, asking, seeking and knocking. This is made even clearer in the words of Jesus that we read yesterday.

Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive [them,] and you will have [them.] 25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

In other words, if we want to receive answers to our prayers, we must first take care of the issues of our relations to others. Even more so, if we have judged, or, if we have not forgiven; this determines that we shall indeed be judged by the same measure, and that we shall not be forgiven when it comes to our failures.

It is the very same thing that we find in the Lord’s prayer, which is a model of how to pray, “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name, …”

Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors …
14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

One of the most important reasons that the Lord calls us from time to time to campaigns of prayer and devotion which resemble war campaigns that demand attention, effort and focus on the task at hand, it is because HE wants to bring to the surface the hidden sins of our heart, so that we may remember whom we need to forgive, and from whom we ought to ask for forgiveness, so that every legal right that Satan holds against us may be removed. Then Satan will no longer be able to resist our prayers.

When we have first overcome the resistance to our prayers, by removing every legal right from the Accuser, then we shall indeed be victorious in the battle of prayer and will conquer the Promises of the Lord.

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