Forgive Us Our Debts


This, then, is how you should pray:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Matthew 6:9-13

One of the most overlooked disciplines of the Christian life is the daily confession of sin.

In Matthew 6, when Jesus took the time to teach us how to pray, he included this element of prayer:

“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

This phrase immediately follows a different request that we are to offer in prayer each day, “Give us today our daily bread.”

It’s important to note the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 is not the same prayer we offer when we first confess our sins to God and accept the forgiveness that Christ’s sacrifice offers through the cross. This prayer of faith also includes the recognition and confession of sin.

But when the Lord taught us how to pray as followers of Him and participants in His Kingdom, he said that we are to continue confessing our sin to Him and requesting forgiveness—daily.

I’m not sure why we are quick to overlook this discipline.

Maybe it’s because we lean into the Gospel truth of once-forgiven, always-forgiven and inadvertently neglect this daily confession. Maybe it’s because we grew up in a religious tradition that placed too great an emphasis on confession. Maybe it’s because we’ve never noticed before the Holy Spirit’s call on our life to recurring confession.

Maybe we prefer to view God as an all-loving, graceful God who doesn’t even notice the sin in our lives. Or maybe we’re too focused on other things in this world to even notice the level of sin in our daily lives.

But Jesus was clear: Our daily prayers ought to include moments of confession.

Probably because of the benefits to us:

Daily confession reminds us of our daily need for grace and mercy.

Daily confession reminds us of our desire for holiness and righteousness.

Daily confession keeps us humble.

Daily confession helps to illuminate unnoticed sin in our hearts.

And lastly, confession reminds us, each and every day, of the extravagant love and grace that can be found only in Jesus Christ. And maybe that’s why it’s so important.


In your prayer time today, take a moment to complete this sentence to the Lord, “Our Father in heaven, I love you. Forgive me today for _______. Amen.”