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Forgive Others? Why Should I Pray about That?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 22, 2015

FORGIVE as quickly as you want God to forgive

Forgive Others? Why Should I Pray about That?

I usually have no (or, very little) problem asking God to forgive me. That’s the easy part. I do that on a fairly regular basis.

Sure, I can readily admit falling short of the mark, saying nasty things to others, cutting off people in traffic on occasion, and especially thinking thoughts that are not pleasing to God. Yes. I sin in thought, word and deed, and I need to ask God to forgive me. And, I do this in prayer.

I can even ask other people to forgive me. Usually, that is. That is relatively straight-forward. However . . . the challenging part, the downright difficult part is where I say to other people, “I forgive you.” And, I need to do this on a regular basis, too. God says so.

Our prayer guide, Rev. Howell, shares his insight into forgiveness. “When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, He grabbed hold of vertical forgiveness, ‘O Lord, forgive me, for I have sinned,’ and nailed it to horizontal forgiveness, ‘… as we forgive those who trespass against us.’ Two interrelated acts of forgiveness, forming a cross.” [1] As Howell tells us, Jesus demonstrated forgiveness. He became forgiveness.

Part of the Assurance of Pardon in the liturgy of the Presbyterian Church (USA) reads, “In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.” It is in this God-given forgiveness that you and I find life and relationship, not only with God (vertically), but with other human beings, too (horizontally).

And to do this? I need to pray. God, give me the faith to come to You, the grace to rest in You, the assurance that I am loved by You, and the strength to go to others and say I forgive them, as I am forgiven by You. Amen.

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Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.

[1] James C. Howell, The Beautiful Work of Learning to Pray, (Nashville, TN, Abingdon Press: 2003), 73.