The fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer is about forgiveness. Forgiveness is a rare commodity these days. Even in the church, people more often talk about apologizing then asking for forgiveness. There’s often this idea that apologies and forgiveness are the same thing, but the Bible simply doesn’t teach that. It’s sometimes been said by Christians that sorry is for accidents, apologizing is for accidents, whereas forgiveness is for sins. There’s a lot of truth in that – it’s a good thing to teach your children. Sorry is for accidents, forgiveness is for sins. Nevertheless, expressing sorrow for your wrongdoing is a step in the forgiveness process, but it is not the only step, nor the last step. The Bible teaches us that when we sin, whether against God or one another, we are to seek forgiveness.
Here in the fifth petition the Lord Jesus is teaching us what to do when we sin against God our Father. As we’ll see, that also has a relationship to what happens when another person sins against us. But the focus here first of all is on sins against our Father and forgiveness from our Father. The Lord Jesus teaches us to pray for forgiveness from him.