Over the course of the next 7 weeks, we will begin a journey of prayer. We will look at various types of petitionary and intercessory prayer…prayers for oneself and prayers of behalf of other people. The various themes show us ways in which we can enrich our prayer life and help us to pray more effectively through examining scripture and then looking to God to change our hearts.
Praying For the Forgiveness of Sin
In the Lord’s Prayer we ask, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” (Matt 6:12) This petition has a qualification attached to it. We can only ask God to forgive us to the extent that we forgive others.
We forgive because we have been forgiven and because we want to follow the example of Jesus. Paul writes “Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
Without forgiveness there are barriers that exist and this leads to bitterness, pain and resentment toward one another.
1) Read Psalm 19:7-18
2) Take some time to think about your relationships. Are you aware of any conflict you have with another? Are there people you hold a grudge against? Describe these issues and offer them to God. Make a decision to forgive those who have hurt you and be released from any bitterness within you.
3) As you are able, seek to express this forgiveness, and, where possible, be reconciled.
“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting our sins against us. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation…God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:19, 21)