And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Jesus speaks these words to His disciples as they are walking past a fig tree that Jesus had cursed the previous day. As they passed the tree Peter noticed that the fig tree had dried up from the roots and was dead. He immediately brought this to Jesus’ attention and as they were walking Jesus gave His disciples this lesson.
Jesus said, have faith in God and you can cast a mountain into the sea, don’t doubt but believe and you shall have whatever you ask for. As Jesus and His disciples are walking past the fig tree dried up from the roots Jesus says, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.“ Then in the next verse of scripture the scene changes.
The bible is very specific that this fig tree dried up from the roots upward. One lesson we can glean from that is that a tree feeds on whatever ground its roots are planted in. If our roots are planted in bad ground they are going to feed on things that will kill our tree. Jesus closes this particular lesson for the disciples by admonishing them to forgive while they are standing and praying. It seems a strange and sort of disconnected way to end this lesson until you understand that Jesus was telling them that the reason the fig tree died was because its roots were planted in soil of unforgiveness.
When you think about praying you think about being on your knees before God. That certainly is praying and we need to do that but the Bible also talks about praying without ceasing. As we walk through life going about our daily business we are to walk in an attitude of prayer. So we pray while we are kneeling but we also pray while we are standing. That was the reason for the scene Jesus choose for this particular lesson. As we walk through our daily life we need to walk in an attitude of prayer, forgiving those who offend us and do us harm as soon as possible.
The thing about forgiveness is it doesn’t change what happened in the past. It does change how the past affects the future though. One big reason that we are unable to believe God for the answer to our prayers is because our tree is rooted in ground of unforgiveness. Unforgiveness produces unbelief and doubt and hinders our prayer every time it is present in our life.
Mark 9:24, And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.