If we’re forgiven in Christ, why does Jesus tell us to ask for forgiveness in the Lord’s Prayer? Why do we need to ask for something we already have? Is our forgiveness dependent on our asking?
Martin Luther provides a helpful thought in his teaching on the Lord’s Prayer:
“There is here again great need for us to call upon God and to pray, “Dear Father, forgive us our trespasses.” It is not as though He did not forgive our sin without and even before our prayer. (He has given us the Gospel, in which is pure forgiveness before we prayed or even thought about it [Romans 5:8].) But the purpose of this prayer is that we may recognize and receive such forgiveness.”
The Large Catechism, The Lord’s Prayer, 88-89