Those who have been forgiven have a right to pray with confidence — providing they forgive others.

Bitterness, malice and hatred are all hindrances to prayer. Answers long denied may be forthcoming when prayer finally comes from a forgiving heart. We deprive ourselves of God’s bounty when we refuse to forgive.

Jesus stressed the importance of forgiving others by linking it to prayer. For a Christian, prayer is as normal as breathing. It is his opportunity to communicate with his Heavenly Father. In the experience of prayer, he unburdens his heart and taps the power of God for daily living. But — every time he prays he must forgive all who have wronged him: “And when ye stand praying, forgive.”

One is uncomfortable in prayer when he harbors ill feeling toward another. Though he may be eloquent in expressing his needs to God, there is something empty about his praying. When the unforgiving person finishes his prayer he is uneasy. It is as if the one who is still unforgiven has been listening in on his conversation with God. He has prayed, but not well. In his praying, he has been disobedient. When he began to pray he should have forgiven his adversary. He has gone through a religious exercise to no avail. The un- forgiven one stands as a roadblock — obstructing the answer to his prayer.

Do you want to get things from God through prayer? Do you long to pray effectively. If so, you must first learn to forgive!