For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
Once we understand the two basic principles of prayer which are to prayer in humility and with purpose. And then we come to understand prayer as a process of lifelong and constant change we are then ready to come to understand the principles of this process. The first one of these processes is forgiveness.
I think it no accident that Jesus’ only commentary on the Lord’s Prayer are two verses on forgiveness. In other places. Jesus puts premium on forgiveness most notably Matthew 18:21-35 where Peter thinks his is being truly generous by forging someone seven times. Jesus multiplies this by seventy but his real point is that forgiveness is not about justice. It is about maintaining the basic level of your relationship with God as a Christian. The verse above points to the simple fact that you if you do not forgive you will not be forgiven by God.
This is a tremendous consequence for not maintaining a forgiving process to your life and your prayer life at all times. It means that your prayers on all other subjects will basically be blocked until you have forgiven those who have trespassed against you. This is not an idle threat from God but serious matter and shows us how much Jesus and the Father value forgiveness as our whole relationship then hinges on receiving forgiveness from God and giving it to others.
The flip side is that if we do forgive, then God forgives us and that means our relationship with him in all other areas can begin to grow and develop. Without it we can’t past where we are in our walk with God. Nothing goes forward without being forgiving people.
The choice is clear. You can forgive and be forgiven or you can not forgive and not be forgiven. The choice is yours.