Mark 11:25, 26 - The Prayer of Faith Requires Forgiveness.

Mark 11:25, 26 - The Prayer of Faith Requires Forgiveness.

Mark 11:25, 26 (TNIV) And when you stand praying, if you hold 
anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may 
forgive you your sins. 

Jesus reminds us that we must have faith and forgiveness when we 
pray, or God will not answer. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by 
Warren Wiersbe] 

Salvation and Forgiveness
  In Mark 11:22-25, Jesus discusses the power of prayer. If we 
believe, he says, amazing things can happen. But Jesus adds a crucial 
qualifier in verse 25: we must be forgiving people. 
  So how can we keep from having an unforgiving attitude? Start 
with remembering God's forgiveness. He established a relationship 
with us even though he knew we would fail time and again. We surely 
know that other people are going to fail us as well. It's no 
surprise. That's why God has a mechanism in place for us to deal with 
those difficulties - forgiveness. 
  To refuse to forgive others means to deny the power of 
Christ's sacrifice on the cross. Christ died on the cross for all people 
for all time. Jesus' words here about the power of prayer and the 
importance of not holding grudges emphasize that if you have confessed your 
own sin and weakness and have asked him to forgive you, then you 
must forgive others' as well. [The One Year Bible for New Believers 
re Mark 11:22-25] 

Why is it so important to forgive others?
  All of us, at some point, have to deal with the issue of 
unforgiveness. When we allow a bitter spirit to lodge in our souls, where it 
grows and festers, it becomes both painful and destructive. 
Unforgiveness lies at the root of many of the physical, emotional, 
psychological, and spiritual problems we see today. 
  The apostle Paul wrote, "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, 
clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you. And be kind to one 
another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ 
forgave you" (Eph. 4:31-32). When Paul spoke of bitterness, wrath, 
anger, clamor, and evil speaking, he was describing the ugly 
manifestations of a "spirit of unforgiveness." 
  A spirit of unforgiveness goes beyond a temporary 
unwillingness to forgive, the period between the time a person gets hurt and 
the time he forgives the one who hurt him. A spirit of unforgiveness 
develops when the one hurt chooses to remain in that unforgiving state.  
  People who develop this nasty spirit often say, "I just don't 
think I could ever forgive that." They make the statement when they 
feel they have been treated in such an unjust, unfair, harmful way 
that they simply can't let go of the pain. 
  We are all going to be hurt. Every one of us has been hurt, 
are hurting now, or are going to be hurt by somebody. The only way 
we can insulate ourselves against being hurt is to completely 
remove ourselves from the possibility of love. To risk love is to risk 
  Hurt is unavoidable, but we can deal with hurt. No pain is too 
deep or too widespread to lie beyond the power of God's forgiveness, 
working in and through us. Unforgiveness is a choice we make with the 
will - and it's a devastatingly bad choice, not only for the 
relationship, not only for the cause of Christ, but also for the one who 
refuses to forgive. [Life Principles SB By Charles Stanley re Mark 
11:25, 26] 

The Dungeon of Bitterness
  Bitterness is its own prison.
  The sides are slippery with resentment. A floor of muddy anger 
stills the feet. The stench of betrayal fills the air and stings the 
eyes. A cloud of self-pity blocks the view of the tiny exit above. 
  Step in and look at the prisoners. Victims are chained to the 
walls. Victims of betrayal. Victims of abuse. 
  The dungeon, deep and dark, is beckoning you to enter ... You 
can, you know. You've experienced enough hurt ... You can choose, 
like many, to chain yourself to your hurt ... Or you can choose, like 
some, to put away your hurts before they become hates .. . 
  How does God deal with your bitter heart? He reminds you that 
what you have is more important than what you don't have. You still 
have your relationship with God. No one can take that. [Grace For The 
Moment SB By Max Lucado re Mark 11:25] 

From Grudges to Grace
  God's Word reveals what is necessary for effective prayer, and 
these verses point to the key of forgiveness. Although it is contrary 
to the world's pattern, it is at the heart of the life Jesus calls 
us to. Christ explained that holding grudges proves detrimental to 
our oneness with the Father, hinders our prayers, and causes God to 
withhold forgiveness from us. 
  Our fellowship with God is restored through our own repentance 
and confession. Jesus provided for this through his finished work on 
the cross. He died so that we would be pardoned and restored to the 
Father. When we come to Jesus, he forgives our sins of the past and all 
the sins we will ever commit. But we who are forgiven much must love 
and forgive others much! Do you need to forgive someone today? What 
relationship needs restoration? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you any areas 
where you need to practice forgiveness. 
  God is ready to provide the grace to enable us to forgive and 
to experience being fully forgiven ourselves. Then we will know the 
joy God gives as we move from grudges to grace and are ready for 
  PRAY: Oh, Father, help me to have a forgiving heart. I need to 
learn how to receive your forgiveness and how to forgive those who 
have wronged me. I don't want to cause your presence in my life to be 
quenched because of unforgiveness. Create in me a free and forgiving 
spirit that sees others as you do, responds to them with your heart, 
and prays for them with your love. [Praying Through The Bible By 
Fuller re Mark 11:24, 25] 

LORD, Teach Me To Forgive
  One day a while back, a man, his heart heavy with grief, was 
walking in the woods. As he thought about his life this day, he knew 
many things were not right. 
  He thought about those who had lied about him back when he had 
a job. His thoughts turned to those who had stolen his things and 
cheated him. He remembered family that had passed on. His mind turned to 
the illness he had that no one could cure. 
  His very soul was filled with anger, resentment and 
frustration. Standing there this day, searching for answers he could not 
find, knowing all else had failed him, he knelt at the base of an old 
oak tree to seek the one he knew would always be there, and with 
tears in his eyes, he prayed... 
  "Lord, You have done wonderful things for me in this life. You 
have told me to do many things for you, and I happily obeyed. Today, 
you have told me to forgive. I am sad, Lord, because I cannot. I 
don't know how. It is not fair Lord. I didn't deserve these wrongs 
that were done against me and I shouldn't have to forgive. As perfect 
as your way is Lord, this one thing I cannot do, for I don't know 
how to forgive. My anger is so deep Lord, I fear I may not hear you, 
but I pray that you teach me to do this one thing cannot do... teach 
me to forgive." 
  As he knelt there in the quiet shade of that old oak tree, he 
felt something fall onto his shoulder. He opened his eyes. Out of the 
corner of one eye, he saw something red on his shirt. He could not turn 
to see what it was because where the oak tree had been was a large 
square piece of wood in the ground. 
  He raised his head and saw two feet held to the wood with a 
large spike through them. He raised his head more, and tears came to 
his eyes as he saw Jesus hanging on a cross. He saw spikes in His 
hands, a gash in His side, a torn and battered body, deep thorns sunk 
into His head. 
  Finally he saw the suffering and pain on His precious face. As 
their eyes met, the man's tears turned to sobbing, and Jesus began to 
  "Have you ever told a lie?" He asked.
  The man answered "Yes, Lord."
  "Have you ever been given too much change and kept it?"
  The man answered "Yes, Lord." And the man sobbed more and more.
  "Have you ever taken something from work that wasn't yours?" 
Jesus asked. 
  And the man answered "Yes, Lord."
  "Have you ever sworn, using my Father's name in vain?"
  The man, crying now, answered "Yes, Lord."
  As Jesus asked many more times, "Have you ever"?
  The man's crying became uncontrollable, for he could only 
answer "Yes, Lord." 
  Then Jesus turned His head from one side to the other, and the 
man felt something fall on his other shoulder. He looked and saw 
that it was the blood of Jesus. When he looked back up, his eyes met 
those of Jesus, and there was a look of love the man had never seen or 
known before. Jesus said, "I didn't deserve this either, but I forgive 
you." ~ author unknown ~