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Prayer Deals with Forgiveness (Week 1 Prayer, Day 4)


"forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us." Luke 11:4

Prayer is ineffective if we do not understand that forgiveness is essential. When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, He taught them to ask for and give forgiveness. But what is forgiveness? People say to "forgive and forget," but that is easier said than done. It is hard when you have strong feelings toward someone because of what they did to you to let it go as if nothing happened. Is this what Jesus is telling us to do? Just move on and act as if nothing has happened. NO! Jesus is instructing His disciples (that includes us) to deal with the hurt and offense through prayer.

God Dealt With the Offense

First, we recognize that we receive forgiveness because God sent Jesus to pay for OUR sins. Our sins are disobedience toward God. How do you think that makes Him feel? By His grace and shed blood, we have received this forgiveness through faith in Jesus' name. We must remember this whenever we realize we have done wrong and ask for forgiveness—humbling ourselves before God is a vital part of prayer. That doesn't mean that we are constantly pleading for forgiveness when we pray, but it does mean that we should recognize that we have received it and live it. Because of His forgiveness, we have the right to speak to Him.

Offenses Will Come

Just as we must ask God to forgive us, we also must forgive others. In Luke 17, Jesus told us that we would have offenses come into our lives. The ESV translates the original Greek word skandalon as temptations, while KJV and CSB translate it as offenses. The idea of the word used in this context is something that trips us up or traps us. An offense is a trap where we get tripped over the same feelings toward a person or situation. God is not asking us to let people off the hook for doing us wrong. He is teaching us not to get caught in the trap and to let Him handle the situation. Just know this, it will happen. People will do us wrong. They will hurt us. Take those hurts to God and allow Him to help you process them, then release them so they do not control your life.

Think About This

Jesus prayed about forgiveness too! As he was being crucified, he said,

"Father forgive them, for they know not what they do" Luke 23:34

Jesus practiced what he taught us. He was asking God to forgive them just as we must while also releasing our forgiveness to them that do us wrong. It's an amazing thought that He prayed this prayer while Jesus was being wrongly treated. He set the example for us. I also understand that strong emotions are hard to overcome. I don't believe Jesus meant this part of "the Lord's prayer" to be a one-time event per each situation, but when we go to God in prayer, we must constantly deliver our hurts to Him so that they will not become traps to ensnare us. NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES! Yesterday we talked about our daily provision coming from God. Forgiveness is an attribute we receive from God, and we must pray as much as we need to until we understand how to release our feelings. This is what we call "praying it through."

Activity

Here is what I want us to do. Think about an event or person who has wronged you. Then be honest with yourself and God and ask yourself if you have released them and the hurt they caused you. Pray for them! That is what we are instructed to do and what Jesus did. Ask God to help them and to help you. Remember that you have also been guilty of sin and needed forgiveness. If you need to, go to them, and if someone comes to you, accept their apology and forgive them, or if they feel hurt by you, humble yourself and apologize to them for hurting them so that you can reconcile things in your own heart. Keep revisiting this in prayer until you understand how to use God's grace to overcome. If you are already there and all is good within yourself, pray for others you know are struggling. We live in the age of being offended. Let's be different by letting Jesus shine through.

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2 Comments


Andrew Schock
Andrew Schock
Jan 07, 2023

I wonder if forgiving yourself is biblical? It says love your neighbor as yourself. We are to love ourselves, but to forgive ourselves? Like you said pastor, Jesus forgave us so we should forgive others. I find a lot of meaning in KNOWING I am forgiven. The greater I understand that God forgave me, the easier it is for me to forgive others. ❤️

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“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” ‭‭John‬ ‭3‬:‭16‬-‭17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40‬:‭31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

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