Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. -Mark 11:24-25 NIV
A sandbar is a submerged or partly submerged ridge of sand that is formed along the shore by the action of the waves or currents. When storms come off of the ocean, sandbars actually act as a shock absorber for the powerful waves and currents. By consuming some of the power, then there is less damage to the shore. That’s one of the reasons when we have damaging storms, some areas fare well and others do not. The sandbar that we cannot see offshore has soaked up some of the waves’ strength. Some people that are looking at oceanfront property to purchase will consult nautical charts to see if offshore sandbars are present, offering added protection to the beach.
While sandbars are great because they help block the oceans’ strength, when we go to God with our petitions, we don’t want anything to stand between us. But, unknowingly, that is exactly what can happen. How can we go to Him asking forgiveness of our sins when we won’t forgive someone of theirs? How can we expect mercy to be shown to us if we don’t show it to others? Like a sandbar, our unforgiveness can act as a ridge that prevents God’s blessings from getting to us. Matthew 7:2 tells us not to judge, or we too will be judged. For in the same way we judge others, we will be judged, and with the measure we use, it will be measured unto us. Many rifts in relationships begin this way in judgement and then before long, unforgiveness takes root and then bitterness follows. Matthew 6:14 plainly tells us that if we forgive men when they sin against us, our heavenly Father will also forgive us. But if we do not forgive men their sins, our Father will not forgive our sins. But, what if we don’t ‘feel’ like forgiving someone. We are still angry at them and rightfully so. We may have every right to our feelings. God would have us know that it doesn’t matter. He will take care of seeing that justice is served. That is not our job. His message is clear. We have to make the decision to forgive and God will do the rest. Our decision to forgive is what sets everything in motion. And don’t worry, He will supply us with all we need and the fullness of heart to begin to forgive. We should not let our unforgiveness towards anyone cost us our blessings, prosperity or healing. Pray this scripture so that we can see and feel in a new way. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 NIV.