Tag Archives: with God

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.

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

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.

Masks? Or No Masks?

matterofprayer blog post for Wednesday, January 1, 2014

honesty expensive

Masks? Or No Masks?

“All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players;” – William Shakespeare.

“Are we being true to who we are? What masks do we wear during one day?” – Rich Lewis

My writing associate Rich wrote these words (above) the other day, referencing the Shakespeare quote. Both statements resonated with me, deeply.

Who are we, anyway? I know I have many roles I play each day. Mom, wife, sister, co-worker, friend, acquaintance. Are they roles? Masks? Do I hide behind these facades?

What mask(s) do I hide behind, in my relationship with God? In my relationship with fellow believers? I know certain people who I usually see only at a worship service. Sometimes I see them with their “church face” firmly in place. I don’t really know them. I may attend worship with them of a Sunday, but that’s about it.

And what about God? How often and how much do people try to hide in their dealings with God? People talk about loving God, praising God. Coming before God. How much is honest and true, and how much is a good fake job?

It won’t work, you know. No matter how hard I try, God ends up knowing everything I attempt to hide, anyhow. I want to be honest and open with God. Come before him with a willing heart and open hands. At least, that’s what I want to try to do. So help me, God.

Let’s pray. Dear God, thank You for this new year. Thank You for the opportunity to come before You with an honest, open countenance. Forgive me for falling short in this endeavor. You know me far better than anyone in the world possibly can. And the miracle is, You still love me! Thank You, God! Help me love, praise and worship You in spirit and in truth. So help me, God! Amen.

Internal Life? Or External Walk?

matterofprayer blog post for Monday, December 30, 2013

winter road

For the past few years, I’ve been concerning myself with—myself. I have been striving to maintain some kind of spiritual balance, working on my internal, spiritual component. I pray regularly (or at least, try to). I visit my therapist and spiritual director regularly, work out on a weekly basis at the local YMCA gym, and I even practiced relaxation and meditation in an intensive way for several months. In all of this, I have been working on the inner “me.”

I have also been intentional with my prayer life. Not only have I been praying on an increasingly regular basis, but I’ve also started a prayer chain and prayer blog, so we all can be encouraged in our personal prayer lives. This helps my inner relationship with God prosper, too.

But, what about my relationship with others? How about my family? Friends? What about those at church, or at the gym? What about my co-workers, or strangers I meet on the street? Have I been as studious and diligent at developing my relationship with them?

Yes, I am called by God to be in relationship with God—the vertical relationship.  But I am also called to be in community, as well—the horizontal relationship, one with another. One of my spiritual gifts is helping people. And by nature, I am kind and compassionate in my relations with others. It’s my relationship with others and with my local community (as well as their relationship with me) that I want to work on in 2014.

That’s why 2014 is my year to be kind. To help. To be of service. Intentionally.

(I will explore my thoughts and experiences of my year of service throughout 2014. I’ll do this at a new blog— www.ayearofbeingkind.net, starting on January 1, 2014. I’m excited! Visit me there, too.)

Let’s pray. Dear God, as the old year ends and the new year begins, I see new hopes ahead. New opportunities. New experiences. God, be with me as I begin a year of intentional service. I pray that this service be God-honoring. I ask You to lead me into places and experiences that You intend. Even challenging and difficult things. Protect me, guard me, guide me. I know You will be there, holding my hand. Thank You for my friends and prayer partners, who will be right by my side (in prayer!). God, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.