Prayer is a deeply personal conversation with God. It is not a public stage on which we parade our piety. Like two lovers sharing their dreams, hopes and sorrows in the quiet of their own company, so, too, must we draw off to the “inner room” of our soul, close the door by shutting out all our distractions, and talk to our Heavenly Father in the secret of our heart. Living a family relationship with the Father reassures us that we do not have to fear God because God loves us and is always ready to forgive us. It is interesting and important that Jesus puts further emphasis on the part about forgiveness. He knows how hard it is for us to forgive. Yet he conditions God’s mercy towards us by our mercy towards others.
This would be terrifying if Jesus had not already died on the cross and assured us of God’s forgiveness and won for us the strength that we need to forgive others. His victory over sin, hatred, anger and death is our victory as well. Our Father expects us to show compassion, love and kindness to others in return. Seeking to live in unity with the Father also teaches us to pray for the things that we need and for the needs of others. As we pray, we can be confident that the Father who knows our needs even before we pray for them, will meet our needs.