“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Mark 11:25-26 (NKJ)
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.
26 “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
All of God’s promises come with conditions (doing things God’s way) – not because God wants to make our life difficult – but because we have to learn God’s ways (which are different to ours) and the ways that God’s kingdom functions. We have been exposed, all our lives, to the world’s system, which is destructive and wreaks havoc in our lives as we function in the “way of the world.” God’s kingdom leads to life and blessing, but we must learn to function in this higher kingdom of God’s ways and then we will reap all the blessings that He has for us.
We have the blessing and privilege of praying and then receiving from our Father, God, but we must be walking in love or our prayers will not be heard. It is not possible to walk in love and unforgiveness at the same time. Unforgiveness disqualifies you from getting the answer to your prayer. You cannot blame God for unanswered prayer – He plays by the rules. God is all-powerful and can do anything, but He will not go against His Word. If you line up with His Word, you will reap the benefits.
Matthew 18:21-35 (NKJ)
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
24 “And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.
25 “But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.
26 “The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’
27 “Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’
29 “So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’
30 “And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.
31 “So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.
32 “Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.
33 ‘Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’
34 “And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
God longs to forgive us and extend His mercy toward us, but He cannot do it if we do not forgive and extend mercy toward others. God’s mercies are new every morning – He is ready again to forgive us again every day. He asks us to be ready to forgive others every day. When we have been hurt, we want to hurt others and hold them permanently responsible for their actions by not forgiving them. We think we are affecting them, but we are only affecting our own fellowship with God in a negative way. We are not holding them in bondage – we are holding ourselves in bondage.
If we forgive others, we release them and ourselves and God is able to forgive and bless us. Thank God, He does not treat us the way we sometimes treat each other. Thank God He is so merciful to us and so patient with us. If we treat others the way we would like to be treated then we will have no problems with an unforgiving heart.