In church, it seems like we like to make our prayers all flowery and sweet, and many times we use them to gossip about people I think we need to take a collective step back and look at the example Jesus gave us. Simplicity is so beautiful. We need to first praise and glorify our Lord, confess our own sins, and only then can we ask for and expect God to listen to our requests.
“Our Father in heaven, may Your Name be kept Holy. May Your Kingdom come soon. May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.”
Then Jesus added this: “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:9-15 NLT
Personally, I’m working on the forgiving others part. For some of the people I need to forgive, it’s on a daily basis because of the depth of the hurt. I have to daily pray the prayer Jesus gave us to ask for deliverance from temptation, as well as asking for His help in forgiving the ones who hurt me…. and ask that I receive forgiveness from those I have wronged.
“Life hurts, and then you die.” My sarcasm was a shield to keep me from feeling. It works to an extent, but eventually the feelings have to be dealt with. Life does hurt, and eventually we will all die. That’s fact. I don’t have to wallow in the misery unless I choose to. We all have our moments when we need to feel the pain in order to move on and begin the healing process. Forgiveness, like life, is ongoing. It’s not instant, and it’s hard. It is also not optional, unless you want to spend your life locked up in a bitter, angry shell. I found out that when I don’t at least attempt forgiveness, my body rebels and acts out with headaches and indigestion and other complaints. When we refuse to forgive, we give that person or persons the ability to hurt us over and over and over. I don’t want anyone having that power over me ever again. Even where I am incapable of forgiveness, my Father can forgive through me…. and that helps give me deliverance!
I try to let my prayers reflect what Jesus taught us instead of using the time to whine and complain and gossip. They don’t always happen that way though! Sometimes I find that all I can do is groan, and that’s okay because the Holy Spirit hears my need and carries it to the throne. Sometimes all I can do is say the Name of Jesus. The important thing is to pray. Talk to God like He is sitting next to you – because He is. Because He IS. Amen.