“In His prayer, Jesus calls us not only to reach out to God for His forgiveness, but also to reach out to others and extend to them our own. That is the only ultimate way to conquer evil. Our willing sacrifice is required. Evil will be healed only through the love of individuals – that is, through you and me.”

Dr. David Jeremiah, Prayer: The Great Adventure, p. 152

Have you received clarity and direction from the Holy Spirit on how He would have you participate in the spiritual discipline of fasting during this 21 Days? For some guidance and ideas, read our post on “Why Fast?”

We want to encourage you to grab a journal or a notebook – something to write on as you walk through each prayer guide or devotional. Yes, it will add a few minutes to the time it takes to do the devotion, and it will also deepen your experience and shape your walk with God for years to come. This journal or notebook will be a keepsake to remind you of God’s faithfulness during this challenging season for all of us.

Engage the Word

Over these several days, we are exploring Jesus’ words where He taught His disciples (and us) how to pray, in what has become known as The Lord’s Prayer. Here, Jesus says to His disciples (and to us):

Matthew 6:9-13

9 Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

       10     Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

       11     Give us this day our daily bread,

       12     and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

       13     And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

Connect the Heart

Jesus said pray then like this:

       12     and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Sometimes, forgiveness seems unfair. Author Lewis Smedes probably speaks for many of us when he says, “There is a lot to be said for not forgiving people… Why should people cut and thrust their way through our lives, leaving us bleeding in their wake, and then expect us to forgive everything and act as if nothing went wrong? Forgiving is an outrage against… dues-paying morality.” (Smedes, The Sunflower, p. 160) It’s interesting that Jesus moved immediately in His prayer from “give us” to “forgive us.” We forgive because we’ve been forgiven… Dr. David Jeremiah says “A case could be made that this is the most important phrase in The Lord’s Prayer. It is the only phrase that He repeats for emphasis. At the end of the prayer, in verses 14-15, Jesus revisits this discussion. He says ‘For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.’ This business of forgiveness is so important, Jesus adds a two-verse commentary on it.” (David Jeremiah, Prayer: The Great Adventure, p. 139)

Reflect on the Truth

1. How is your heart – your words, your actions, your desires, your motivations – open to expressing forgiveness even in the difficult places, based on the truth that you’ve been completely forgiven?

2. The truth is there is nothing you’ve ever done – past, present, or will do in the future – that you haven’t already been forgiven of, because of Christ’s work accomplished on the cross. Take a moment to thank Him for forgiveness.

3. Is there an area of your life that the Lord might be revealing to you where you need to repent and turn back to Him? Is there a relationship in your life where He might be prompting you to extend forgiveness?

Depend on the Spirit

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the deeper longings, desires or motives in your heart that these thoughts are pointing to. (For example: you may write down, “O Father in heaven, thank you for your complete forgiveness of me. I don’t deserve it. Show me where I need to also extend forgiveness to another.”) The Lord can help us discern the path forward – through His word, His Spirit, His people.

For Prayer: As we conclude our devotional time, pray that our relationships would be marked by forgiveness, reconciliation, restoration and oneness.


Read our post “Why Fast?” to learn about the spiritual discipline of fasting and gain a better understanding of why Jesus asked us to fast. We fast not to get something we want from God, but for God to change our wants. We fast because Jesus fasted, He expected we would fast, and we see that the early church fasted.

Read yesterday’s post HERE.

Catch up on all our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting posts on the blog HERE.