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.  [simple_tooltip content=’20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.

21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”

22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.

23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

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.”’](Mark 11:20-26[/simple_tooltip]; [simple_tooltip content=’20 And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?”

21 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.

22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”’]Matthew 21:20-22)[/simple_tooltip]


There are qualifications for believing and receiving, and one of them is that we forgive those who hurt and offend us or someone else. Harboring unforgiveness in our hearts will keep our prayers from being answered.

We should forgive others as quickly as we make the decision to pray. When we stand praying, we must forgive anyone we are holding something against. Why is this so important? God dealt with all men’s offenses by placing sin upon Jesus, who was judged in place of every sinner of all time. To demand that others must earn our forgiveness when we did not earn ours is not being like Jesus. He forgave us, and we should forgive others.

It is doubtful that a person who refuses to forgive has ever experienced forgiveness. This is comparable to the servant Jesus talked about in [simple_tooltip content=’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.”’]Matthew 18:23-35[/simple_tooltip]. He was forgiven a debt of over 3 million dollars and yet he refused to forgive his fellow servant who owed him 3,000 dollars. Jesus called him “wicked” (v. 32). Can you see why God cannot answer our prayers if we are acting like this wicked servant and refusing to forgive others the way we have been forgiven?

The forgiveness you have received from the Lord is infinitely greater than any forgiveness you will ever be asked to extend to others. Freely forgive as you have been forgiven, and then you can pray confidently in faith, and God will hear and answer your prayers.