Forgiveness is not an easy thing for any of us. When we have been hurt we have a natural response that wants to hurt those that have hurt us. We know in our hearts that the other person deserves justice and not forgiveness. Yet, the disciples are told when they pray that they should only seek God’s forgiveness if they have extended forgiveness to those that had hurt or offended them.
Matthew 6: And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (NIV)
This idea of forgiveness is so strong that in another passage of scripture we are told that if we show up for worship and bring a gift (or offering) to the altar, and remember that our brother has something against us, we should leave our gift at the altar and go and be reconciled first. God places reconciliation on a higher level than worship.
One of the best ways to find freedom in your prayer life is to practice forgiveness towards those that have hurt you. One of our prayers should be for God to give us the strength to resist our natural tendency to seek revenge.
If we choose not to forgive others we will find that prayer becomes cold and dry. God will seem distant and our words hollow.
Is there someone that you need to forgive today?
Written by Larry Westfall. Copyright © Finding Wonder 2013.