Three Not Easy Steps to Forgiving

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses Mark 11:24-25

Have you noticed that most of the teaching on believing in advance to receiving is usually focused on getting something? My healing, my financial miracle, or career all crowd into my thoughts quite easily while forgiving someone who has hurt me remains far away. But Jesus time after time links faith, prayer and forgiveness. While God alone is in control of supplying our needs, we are the ones in control of those whom we forgive. This morning why not begin with three not so easy steps to forgiveness?

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I don’t know about you but when I have allowed someone to get close to me and then discovered that I have been betrayed or used by that person, it is very hard to let go of their offense. God taught me a valuable lesson on this forgiveness a few years ago when I did some work for a man who didn’t pay his bill. Fall passed into winter and I hoped by Christmas that he would pay. After New Years had passed I thought that maybe with he would pay by spring. April came with still no check but in May I received a phone call from him apologizing and promising to pay. I was so happy that I also agreed to return to do another small job. P1030396After finishing that job and even another later on it began to be clear that I would probably never get paid. As time passed I complained to my family, then to my friends and then one day God showed me that I needed to forgive him. I was so ashamed as I realized that I had who had preached forgiveness had practiced forgiveness only in theory. In reality when I was the one who held the bill I was expecting payment in full. Slowly I began a process of forgiving which has led me to freedom and joy worth far more than the unpaid bill. Continue reading

Is it Time to Pray?

The Bible study I am doing now is about the prayers of Jesus. I knew that Jesus prayed but didn’t realize that in nearly every scene we read about He is praying. He prayed at His baptism and He prayed to multiply bread. He prayed a blessing on children and He prayed for Jerusalem. He prayed for Lazarus to come forth and He prayed for Peter’s faith. No wonder that the disciples asked for Him to teach them how to pray. Prayer was the very life and breath of our Savior and was the last thing He did as He died on the cross. If He needed prayer so much then how much more do we? The good news is that when we ask Him to help us pray He has promised to do it. He has left us more than a form, He has left us His Spirit guide us on His path of prayer as well. God bless you today as you walk with Him to the place of prayer. Is it time to pray? Oh yes always!