Everywhere I go, I hear people who say they want more of God’s power working in their lives.  They read books, go to seminars and conferences, attend church regularly, but yet they just don’t seem to grow in power in their everyday lives.  Year after year is the same old story, stuck in a rut and unable to break out of it.  Though they are seeking God, the devil just keeps defeating them on a regular basis.  That shows me study and prayer is not enough.  That “something missing” will continue to cost them defeat until they deal with it.  Do you know someone like that?  Could that someone be YOU?
   The disciples asked the Lord Jesus how they ought to pray, and He said to pray like this:
Mat 6:7  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Mat 6:8  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Mat 6:9  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Mat 6:10  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Mat 6:11  Give us this day our daily bread.
Mat 6:12  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Mat 6:14  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Mat 6:15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
    The point is this; many think that praying long prayers will give them more of the power of God working in their life, or running to this conference or that one, “chasing the anointing” as I put it in one of my very first sermons.  But the Lord Jesus got to the meat of the matter in this passage.  He said THY KINGDOM COME.  That doesn’t mean YOUR kingdom.  That GOD’S will be done in your life, not YOUR will.  We may or may not have a hard time with that one.  And everyone wants God to give them their daily provision, but here may well be the key of why they continue to suffer defeat in their life, year after year:  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
    We all want to be forgiven of our sins, but how about those people that have hurt you in some way?  Do you want God to forgive THEM?  Be honest, you can’t fool God.  Most importantly, do YOU forgive them?  You might be thinking, “Well, you don’t know what they did to me…” No, I don’t, but does that really matter?  Maybe it isn’t some big thing, maybe it’s just small, irritating things someone does to you on a regular basis, something like putting up with a continually dripping faucet that is a continual source of irritation, building up over a period of time.  Maybe you’ve thought just avoiding that person or situation will make it all go away, but you can’t avoid them, like at home, or at a workplace.
    You might think those little irritations that people do to you wouldn’t keep you from experiencing God’s power working for you, but it can, depending upon how you react to those situations.  And God is not putting them in your path to make your day rotten, the devil is, after all, the Lord Jesus said, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; but I am come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly.  Don’t you see?  The devil is the one wanting to rob you of your joy and peace, and he uses people to do it for him.  How do you defeat the devil?  You simply refuse to let people offend you, and when offense comes, and Jesus said it would, you FORGIVE them, even as God, for the sake of Christ Jesus’ sacrifice, has forgiven YOU.   And you want to be forgiven, right?  I thought so.  The requirement for being forgiven?  You must also forgive others in the same way God has forgiven you: completely, freely, and forever, with no strings attached.
    I know people who are willing to forgive you, as long as you are aware “you owe them”.  And they will make sure you know the rest of your LIFE that ‘you owe them”.  That isn’t how God works, and that isn’t how true forgiveness works, either.  Truly forgiving is like it never happened in the first place, where you have unbroken fellowship with that person or persons.  Now, if they continue mistreating you, that doesn’t mean to just keep letting them abuse you.  No, you don’t need to be their doormat, but forgive them and move on, and perhaps moving out of their area of being able to affect you might be in order.
    In the beginning of my ministry, I prayed for a lady who had several serious afflictions.  As I knelt by her praying, the LORD told me, Tell her to forgive her daughter and I’ll heal her.  I went to church with her, and never even knew she had a daughter.  I told her, and she started crying.  She forgave her daughter right then and there, and was healed for the rest of her life, that being about fifteen more years when she died of old age.
    What is having the power of God moving in your life worth to you?  Is it worth forgiving others no matter what, and absolutely refusing to let offense get the best of you?  You know, God has all kinds of good plans for you, plans to bless you and advance you, both materially and spiritually.  I have those in my life that are giving me great opportunity daily to be offended, and it’s not easy to keep on forgiving, knowing in an hour or two I’ll have to do it again, possibly for years to come.  It’s a real battle for me that most people have no idea I’m dealing with.  But the cost is far too great for me to allow myself to fall into bitterness and unforgiveness.  So now you know why I preach so strongly on this.  You see, I have to forgive  too, by asking for the same grace of God that is also available to YOU.
   The good part is, the Lord Jesus knows what it’s like to forgive others.  Think about this for a moment: as they bore false witness against Jesus to get Him crucified, as they beat Him to a pulp, forcing Him to carry his cross to Golgotha, as they nailed Him to the cross and he hung there, He said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.  Oh, I think they knew what they were doing alright, but chose to do it anyway.  And He truly forgave them.  AND you and me.  And now you know why the power of God worked so mightily in Christ Jesus.  It will work mightily in you and me if we choose to forgive.  Notice I said CHOOSE TO FORGIVE.  It’s OUR choice, the Lord won’t make it for us, and the devil CAN’T.  The power to forgive is yours.  And by the way, that also applies to FORGIVING YOURSELF.  What will you do with it?