Day 19: How do I Pray for Pardon?

Bible Verses:  Matthew 18:21-35, Ephesians 4:29 – 5:2; 2 Corinthians 7:10

Jesus was tried by Pilate and convicted with the shouts of people, “Crucify him!” He had done no wrong. At the same time, Barabbas, one guilty of crimes deserving death, received a pardon. Barabbas was set free because Jesus paid with His life. It is what Jesus has done for us as well.

Pastor Timothy Keller writes, “Jesus’ salvation is not only like receiving a pardon and release from death row and prison. Then we’d be free, but on our own, left to make our own way in the world, thrown back on our own efforts if we’re to make anything of ourselves. But in the Gospel, we discover that Jesus has taken us off death row and then has hung around our neck the Congressional Medal of Honor. We are received and welcomed as heroes as if we had accomplished extraordinary deeds.”

How do I Pray for Pardon? In Jesus’ prayer model, He teaches us to pray: “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.” (Luke 11:4) We are praying for our pardon and that we also would pardon those who have wronged us! Here’s how:

First, I repent. I turn from actions and motives that are not honoring God or loving others. I turn toward God to confess these sins.

  • I admit I sinned against God and do not make excuses or dismiss lightly.
  • I embrace Godly sorrow, not selfish regret, because I am sorry for the consequences.
  • I check my heart and see what motives need to be confessed.

Next, I believe in the Gospel.

  • I receive Jesus as my Savior and His payment on the cross that pardons me.
  • I lay my sin at the foot of the cross in humble repentance.
  • I accept his pardon and rely on God’s power to share it with others.

Then, I work on forgiving others.

  • I identify those injuries others have done to me and any bitterness I hold.
  • I admit that I cannot by my power pardon their debt, but God can help me do it.
  • I release their debt and lay it at the foot of the cross next to my own sin.

We live in a condition of pardon with God. We rehearse that relationship as we daily confess our sins. So likewise, we pardon others for their offenses and remind ourselves not to hold a grudge daily.

Day 19 Challenge: Write down one major area that the Lord is leading you to confess. Who is one person that is hardest for you to forgive? Practice releasing their debt.

Prayer Prompt: For my freedom from sin