by Brent Moody
Are we able to genuinely forgive someone of their offenses without prayer and trust in God? Sometimes, the offenses are so great that we need God’s strength and peace to help move us beyond the pain and to the point of forgiveness. Not only do we need God to help us live a life where we are daily forgiving others, but we need to pray for God to increase our understanding of forgiveness in our own life. As Christians, we know the Good News that we don’t have to live a life enslaved by sin, but a life of freedom and forgiveness.
We should pray for God to increase our understanding of His forgiveness for everyone. God is the ultimate judge and when we are able to understand His forgiveness, we are able to extend it to others. We should also pray for those who have wronged us – pray blessing on them and that they may experience God’s forgiveness. This is not always natural for us, as we typically want “to get equal”, but will help lead us to reconciliation. Unforgiveness affects relationships with those around us and hinders our relationship with God.
We should also pray for God to help us move beyond the past and look toward the future for improved relationship with Him and others. We don’t want to live a life plagued with bad relationships and hatred toward someone. Sometimes, our inability to forgive someone from the past hurts us worse than the offense itself! God doesn’t want us to live with this guilt and we don’t have to. With focused and daily prayer with Him, we can live a life free from this guilt and see improved relationships.
Spend time this week focusing on prayer as a way of “Living in Forgiveness.”Remember that our Father first forgave us (and daily forgives us!) and our refusal to forgive only shows that we do not really love God. (Grounded in the Gospel, pg 53