|And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. What does this mean? We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look upon our sins, nor on their account deny our prayer; for we are worthy of none of the things for which we pray, neither have we deserved them; but that He would grant them all to us by grace; for we daily sin much and indeed deserve nothing but punishment. So will we also heartily forgive, and readily do good to, those who sin against us.|
Our Savior teaches us to ask God to forgive us our sins. For it is our own sins that cause us and all our fellow believers the greatest and bitterest distress.
Ps. 130:3-4: If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared.
Luther: “Not as though God did not forgive sin without and even before our prayer, for He has given us the Gospel, in which is pure forgiveness before we prayed or even thought about it. But this is to the intent that we may recognize and accept such forgiveness.”