Preparing for 24:7 Prayer – October Reflection

On earth as in heaven

‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us…’

In preparation for our week of 24:7 Prayer commencing 13th January 2017 we are looking at The Lord’s Prayer over the six months from July to December, a section at a time.
This monthly blog by Marcus Pagnam is designed for private or group study, and meditation.
Marcus says: “I have taken some material from ‘Teach us to pray’ by Rob White, Malcolm Down Publishing, which I highly recommend for further reading.”
If you would like a signed copy please let Marcus know.
Prayer bookmark back cover

Grateful

It’s interesting that this isn’t at the start of the prayer.

When Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray, he doesn’t say ‘recognise what a worthless worm you are in front of God before you dare utter another word!’ He teaches us to ‘approach the throne of grace with confidence’, looking not to our own failing, but to God’s goodness, majesty and mercy.

How do you feel when you turn to God in prayer?

Guilty that you don’t pray more? (like most of us!) Ashamed of the true state of your own heart, the lack of ‘spiritual progress’ in your life? Or are you grateful that you are called and welcomed? Grateful for the His abundant provision and blessing? Aware that, without Him you are lost, but with Him you are set free.

Live Free

We are to approach God with confidence in his manifold mercy and grace, but there is a caveat here that we ignore at our peril. It is a principle with God that we see time and again in the bible, but here, in the heart of the Lord’s Prayer it is stark and almost shocking. ‘Forgive us as we forgive others’.

Really? Can we really pray that? Can’t we just ask God to forgive us and concentrate on living right with Him without involving others?

Well, that’s the problem – others. You see, God ‘so loved the world’ – not just you on your own!

Jesus, when asked what the most important thing was, said ‘Love God and love your neighbour as yourself.’ And we are encouraged again and again in scripture to work on our relationships. There are numerous verses, but here is one that I have on my office wall:

I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3)

You see, when God gets a hold of us and starts to breathe life into our hearts, He expects us to become more like Him. And He adores His creation. He sees the God-given potential in each and every person – who He designed them to be. And he longs for us to be cheerleaders of each other. To encourage each other and to be right with each other, bearing with one another, so that the body, the community of believers is built up and is fully healthy.

But what about that person that really hurt me – offended me beyond any excuse?

Jesus teaches that we are to forgive them as readily as He forgives us.

Easy to say, but so hard in practice.

The trouble is, if we don’t forgive others and hold something against them, then we are sitting in judgement of them, and that is not our place, that belongs to God alone.

And we are also denying ourselves freedom, for when we hold someone else ‘in debt’ to us, we are in fact, shutting ourselves inside a little prison of pain.

Sometimes people aren’t even aware that they have offended you – other times they may well be, but for various reasons there isn’t the chance to find peace with them directly and personally.

Jesus teaches us to forgive others as completely as He does us – not harbouring ill feeling, but totally releasing them from being in our debt.

If you can’t do this face to face with the person in question you can still do this before the Lord in prayer – releasing them from owing you anything and entrusting them, the consequence of their action and ultimately their judgement, to God who is righteous and just.

That is the path to true peace with God, true wholeness in Him and true confidence that He has cleansed us and forgiven us from the many times we have allowed our hearts to be inclined away from Him and those He loves.

24:7 Prayer Week 13.01.17 to 20.01.17
Introduction

September Reflection

August Reflection

July Reflection

 

 

 

28th Sep 2016 Posted in: News by Stella Jennings 0

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