Scripture: Luke 11:4; Matthew 6:12
And forgive us our trespasses; as we forgive those who trespass against us
Forgiveness is a cross we all must bear. But Jesus tells us, this is a cross we must bear, because it is the prerequisite for our heavenly Father forgiving us our trespasses. If we are honest about it, we all need to be forgiven of something, so we must learn how to forgive others that we may be forgiven through prayer.
On the cross, Jesus utters these profound words, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
God keeps showing me that everything I went through was not necessarily about me, but that His glory may be revealed in me through the sharing of my testimony. For one of the first times in my life, I was harboring a lot of hate, anger, resentment, and bitterness in my heart that I had to start dealing with, so that God would hear my prayers. I had to give away those toxic feelings that were beginning to invade and poison other areas of my life and body. I had to first pray to forgive myself, for going against one of my cardinal rules of having little to no expectations of people, which kept me from being vulnerable to the hurt of betrayal. Second, I had to go into real prayer asking God to help me to forgive, because the truth is, I did not want to forgive.
Prayer is the difference maker. We pray that God forgives others, just as he has forgiven us. Just like we have every excuse in the world, and labor to explain, “what had happened was”, and divulge the true intentions of our hearts to soften the blow, most people are doing the same thing. Just accept it, let go and let God. I know it’s hard, but necessary. We just have to for—give and give it away to God. Prayer is what begins to open our closed fists and finger by finger release the tight grip on that pain, that we may leave it at the altar of God for God to take care of it.
Recently in speaking with my grandfather, he reminded me of an old expression, “That the hands of justice may seem to move slowly, but they do move show’ly.” God may not move on our agenda, or on our timeline, but indeed God does move and declares that vengeance is mine. All we do is get in the way of what God wants to do. But my grandfather also gave the solution, he said we have to pray for the people, it’s hard to hate, be bitter, and angry about a person that you are praying for every day. That was a real gut check and I more profoundly understood Jesus on the cross, utter those words of forgiveness. Jesus had to keep his heart pure, and guard against malice, hate, bitterness, and anger at what He was going through. So what did he do? He went to the Lord in prayer! Jesus also pointed out that often, they don’t know what they are even doing, so stop giving them that much credit and power over your life! I believe God wants to elevate you through this journey, but forgiveness is the anchor that can hold you down from reaching unimaginable heights in God.
CPR Kit for the Soul:
- Centering Theme: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15)
- Prayer Topic: Pray that God would loosen your grip on the issues of forgiveness we must release and let go.
- Reflection Thought: How have my issues of forgiveness controlled me life and hindered God from forgiving me?
T3 Prayer Booster:
- Dear Lord, please center my mind and heart on what is the root of my forgiveness issues. Please reveal why I feel this way, and what I need to do to get to a healthy place of forgiveness.
- Lord, I know that you are calling me to forgive, but Lord I need you to show me how to manage the memory and not forget. I don’t want to forget so I never allow myself to get in that situation again, but I don’t want to allow me not forgetting to pull me back into the pit of forgiveness issues. I need your help Lord.
- Father God if Your word declares that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, meaning that through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, you have already forgive me. Help me to forgive myself for allowing myself to get into a situation where I could be betrayed and hurt by the words and actions of others