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Jesus apparently directed his disciples, in the model prayer (cf. Matthew 6), to ask daily for forgiveness. Some Bible students hold that Christians have access to continual forgiveness, and thus such requests are not required. Should faithful Christians pray daily for forgiveness?

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  • There's no such mention of daily. The prayer instruction relates to a continual lifestyle rather than recitation of it.
    – Michael16
    Mar 12, 2022 at 3:23
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    @Michael16 The prayer has wording that at least suggests it is appropriate to say it daily, and the wording of Luke 11:2 suggests recitation. Moreover, Christians have a long tradition of reciting the Our Father (and consider 2 Thessalonians 2:15 before dismissing such a tradition). Mar 12, 2022 at 5:38
  • @BrianMcCutchon I agree about reciting it like it is, but the appeal to tradition is baseless. Theres no way to confirm any tradition to be biblical. The bible alone and common sense with spiritual discernment is sufficient. There is no reference of it in any letters by the apostles.
    – Michael16
    Mar 12, 2022 at 8:31
  • @Michael16 I believe that 2 Thessalonians 2:15 clearly contradicts your claim that "The bible alone and common sense with spiritual discernment is sufficient." Mar 21, 2022 at 21:07
  • @BrianMcCutchon you cannot entertain "any" tradition as biblical just bec it is an old tradition. That's the point. We need to use our brains to identify and weigh, otherwise we have a long Talmud of tradition as well.
    – Michael16
    Mar 22, 2022 at 11:31

2 Answers 2

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Do not you yourself answer this question in the very question? For who is more authoritative a teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ or "some Bible students" who hold some questionable, to say the least, idea about some magical continual forgiveness? This is, as a matter of fact, a quite Gnostic/Manichean idea of some irrevocable chosenness of a small part of human race, who are doomed, as it were, to be saved, whereas others similarly doomed to be not-saved.

Lord asks to pray not once, but as a matter of life's daily act, the "Our Father", and this everyday prayer include both everyday bread as a nourishment of body and everyday forgiveness as a nourishment of soul. If I hurt my friend, say, ridicule him for some behaviour and he is hurt, should I not ask for forgiveness because I am a Christian, saying: "You should not be hurt, but if you are, I cannot say 'forgive me', because I am a Christian and automatically possess divine forgiveness continually, so, drink cold water, calm down and keep no grudge against me, a luminous Christian who never tells 'forgive me' to anybody, God included". If this is absurd, then is not it absurd not to say "forgive me" to God, whom we offend by our frequent neglect of His will?

But why am I at all speaking such absolutely self-evident things, to repel "come Biblical students"? Poor Bible in their hands.

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    Good answer. +1. The other side of this confession is to constantly impress on our own minds the (to us) elusive fact that we are sinners and completely dependent upon our Lord and Savior.
    – Dottard
    Mar 11, 2022 at 21:50
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    @Dottard Thanks! Yes, we are completely dependent upon our Lord and Savior, but also success of His salvific action on our behalf completely depends on our free reciprocation and responsive initiative on His calling. Mar 12, 2022 at 3:31
  • Up-voted +1. Worse than the sin itself is the pride that will not ask forgiveness.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 12, 2022 at 9:07
  • @NigelJ Indeed, pride is the sin of all sins, and this teaching that puts in human mind an illusory assuredness that he is necessarily saved no matter what, can lead to such pride, even if it can start with an extreme self-depreciation in favor of God: extremes meet. Mar 12, 2022 at 20:41
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This prayer was given to Israel and prior to Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. The shed blood of Jesus Christ was the sufficient payment to God for all of our sins past, present, and future. Israel's past sins were also paid for, but their future sins (post-cross) will not be forgiven until Christ returns:

Acts 3:19

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord."

In contrast to what Peter says to the remnant Jewish church of believers, notice what Paul says to us today, the church, the body of Christ:

Ephesians 1:7

"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;"

Colossians 1:14

"In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:"

2 Corinthians 5:19

"To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."

You may notice that Paul never mentions to us how to get our sins forgiven in any of his thirteen epistles (Romans through Philemon). This is because our sins have already been forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ.

In fact, believing that our sins were forgiven through Christ is part of the requirement for salvation today:

Romans 3:25

"Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;"

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Paul goes on to say that we today do not really know what to pray for as we ought to:

Romans 8:26

"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

However, he does say that we should always pray with thanksgiving:

Ephesians 5:19-20

"Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;"

Praying to God for forgiveness of sin would only indicate a lack of faith in what Jesus Christ completed for our sin payment on the cross. Rather than pray for forgiveness of sin, pray to God with thanks for the forgiveness that was brought to the world by Christ's death, burial, and resurrection and receive the free gift of salvation through having faith alone in this.

Ephesians 2:8-9

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast."

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