“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 11:25
Is this an afterthought of the Lord? Coming immediately after that promise of answered prayer in the preceding verse, it appears that Jesus has suddenly made prayer conditional upon the state of your heart. If we extend our reading further we actually discover yet another rehearsal of the Shema of Jesus; Love God with all your heart, mind and soul and love your neighbor likewise. In verse 22, Jesus emphasizes the faith requirements of prayer and a right relationship with God and here He imparts a reminder that this love is to also extend to our fellow man.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus brought up a similar theme. In Matthew verses 23-24, the Lord spoke to the impropriety of worship while holding a grudge toward another. Love for your neighbors is a measure of the love and obedience that you have for God. Has His grace so permeated your soul that it is regularly visited upon your neighbors? If not a return to the altar of the gospel is in order.
Prayer holds the same requirements. God knows your heart and prayer that attempts to cloud the issues that swirl there is useless. Until we are able to know grace that transforms our attitudes toward others, God will continue to work out that aspect of our lives instead of moving us to a more mature relationship. Today is the day to seek out your brother.