To all who truly believe and follow Jesus Christ
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
All who believe these two Holy Scriptures are followers of Jesus Christ. These believers are in the beginning stages of being saved and are on the path to becoming mature believers. They participate in bible study, small cell group fellowship, Sunday corporate bible study, and worship services on a daily and weekly basis.
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed in Him, "If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32)
Those followers of Jesus who abide in His Holy Word are indeed His disciples.
Am I a follower? Am I a disciple? Is there a difference?
The follower has made Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of his/her life and is renewing their mind, learning daily from God's book, the Holy Bible.
The disciple of Jesus Christ is mature and disciplined, focused on living a righteous and obedient life according to the Holy Word of God. A disciple wins souls and makes disciples for the Kingdom of God. His or her life is filled with prayer, obedience and witnessing to the lost of the world. Such a person seeks to reflect Christ through his life and by teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Preparing for effective prayer
What two things must a true follower/disciple do when beginning to pray to Almighty God? That is, the Lord God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit)?
We must ask for forgiveness ourselves, and
we must forgive others.
Our sins of commission (our actions) and sins of omission (things we fail to do, such as ministry to the widow, orphan and those incarcerated in prison).
Receiving God's forgiveness guarantees that our prayers will be heard by our Heavenly Father. He has commanded us to forgive.
Think of it as an insurance policy guaranteeing that all of your prayers are heard and accepted into the Holy Presence of God.
For example: "Our Father, in the name of Your precious Son Jesus Christ, please forgive me of all my sins of omission and commission as well as those who have sinned against me, so that all of my prayers will remain pure and holy in Your sight and that I might be blameless. (Sin cannot be present when we enter the Presence of our Holy God.)
Sadly, most followers and disciples of God do not ask forgiveness of their sins of commission and omission. They often fail to forgive those who have sinned against them. As a result, their prayers are hindered and can not be heard by our Father who is in Heaven.
According to the 'Holy Word of God', the Bible, the sinner's prayer will not be accepted or heard in the presence of a Holy God. What are sins of omission and commission?
Sins of Omission are those sins that are committed because we fail to obey God. We omit obedience.
Sins of Commission are those committed by all followers and disciples of God on a daily basis through what we say and do against our neighbors in the world. We commit sins.
Included in the "Lord's Prayer" in verse 12 of Matthew chapter 6, we read, "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."
The word "debts" means our sins of commission and omission.
"Debtors" are those who have sinned against us.
Here are supporting Scriptures:
2 Corinthians 6:14
We believe the best way to accomplish this action is: that when we begin to pray, we just ask God to forgive us -- making it a way of life in your daily prayers to God.
Let us practice asking God to forgive us on a daily basis so that our prayers will be accepted and heard by our Holy God.
Jesus Christ declared that as His disciples we must ask forgiveness for our own sins,
and for those who sin against us.
He taught His disciples to pray on a daily basis. Please see the entire Lord's Prayer below:
Jesus said, "In this manner, therefore, 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 this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, (What you say and do to wrong others)
As we forgive our debtors (those who have wronged us)
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the
power and the glory forever. Amen
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matthew 6:9-15)
After Jesus had taught His disciples to pray, in verses 14 & 15, He strongly emphasized forgiving others.
As we extend grace to others through forgiveness, we are in turn forgiven.
Let us be reverently obedient on this point because, if we do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will our Father forgive our trespasses.
There is no salvation for us until we forgive others.
As followers and disciples of Jesus Christ, we must obey His commandments. God does not make suggestions. He gives us commands. We must obey.
In the words of the gospel song,
"Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."
In His Awesome and Holy Presence,