Mark 11:25 (NLT)
25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.

In this verse Jesus is teaching the disciples about prayer. When we go to God in prayer we do not want to be hindered by our thoughts. When we hold a grudge against someone those thoughts fester and dwell in our mind. They keep us from relating to God freely for God forgives us and we too should learn to forgive others.

Desmond Tutu is a bishop in South Africa who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work against apartheid. In his book No Future Without Forgiveness, he shares stories and insights from his leadership role in South Africa�s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Two people who came before the commission were Mrs. Calata and her daughter. Mrs. Calata�s husband had been an advocate for black South Africans in rural communities. Because of his work, he�d been arrested, detained, and tortured by the police numerous times. But one day he disappeared. On the front page of the newspaper, Mrs. Calata saw a photograph of her husband�s car on fire. She cried so loudly during the hearing, describing the autopsy�s report about his torture, that the commission had to be adjourned. When they reconvened, Mrs. Calata�s daughter testified. Years had gone by, and she was now a young lady. She pleaded with the commission to discover who had killed her father. But she was not crying out because she wanted vengeance or justice. Instead she said to the commission, �We want to forgive, but we don�t know whom to forgive.� Eventually members of the police confessed to the crime. Rather than continue the endless cycle of hatred, Mrs. Calata and her daughter forgave the men who tortured and killed their husband and father�because that�s what Christ�s people do. [Skye Jethani, in the sermon "From Exclusion to Embrace,"]

Forgiveness does not mean that we don�t care about justice or that our memories of a painful event will cease to exist. But it does mean we leave justice in God�s hands and we allow Christ to work in our lives to learn to forgive and heal from our pains.