12th April 2019

This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

For if you forgive others when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 6:9-15

 

 

 

Prayer Points

 

Thank God for his free gift of forgiveness through Christ’s death on the cross.

 

Is there someone you need to forgive? Ask God to help you release them. Be willing to persist with this prayer, if necessary. Is there a practical step you could take to restore your relationship?

 

Pray the Lord’s Prayer. Pray it slowly, pausing after each line to allow time for reflection.

 

Pray for families under pressure in your community. Pray for anyone you know whose marriage is in danger of breaking up because of unresolved hurt or conflict.

 

         

     DAY 33 : FORGIVENESS

 

Jesus gave the Lord’s Prayer to his followers as a pattern for all our praying. Afterwards, he commented on just one part of it: he was concerned to stress the vital importance of forgiving.

 

We must forgive the people who have hurt us if we want to receive forgiveness from God. It isn’t that we have to earn God’s forgiveness, but forgiving is like breathing. We can’t breathe in unless we breathe out as well. In the same way, we can’t expect forgiveness from God unless we are giving forgiveness to others.

 

Simon Peter once came to Jesus with a question: ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive someone who sins against me?’ The rabbis may have said three times. When Peter suggested seven times he thought he was being generous, but Jesus rejected any kind of tally. If we’re counting the number of times we forgive someone, we’re not really forgiving them at all.

 

Jesus replied to his question with a parable about an ungrateful servant (Matthew 18:23-35). His story shows that if we choose to hold onto our bitterness against someone, it is as though we keep that person locked behind bars; but the consequence is that we become the prisoner.

 

Forgiving is rarely easy. Sin is serious, and we can’t simply brush our hurt under the carpet. Sometimes we will have to persist in prayer, and maybe even ask someone to pray with us before we find freedom. But there is only one thing harder than forgiving, and that’s not forgiving.

 

    

Pray

 

*    Pray for your ‘big issue’

*    Pray for your ‘three friends’

*    Pray for a new wave of revival.


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