A Prayer to Forgive as We Have Been Forgiven
By Tiffany Thibault
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” - Matthew 6:14-15 KJV
Imagine, if you will, that you are out walking and come to the fence around my house. There is a sign that says, “No trespassing.” However, you decide that you would rather take a chance of any potential consequence by taking the “shortcut” across my property. So, you climb the fence into my yard and begin walking. Suddenly you see a blur of black and begin shaking in fear as a snarling, growling large Doberman blocks your path. In that frightening moment, your sin would leave you overwhelmed by the choice that you had made to trespass.
What if though, at that moment, I came out my front door, immediately assessed the situation, and called my dog to come sit by my side so that you could safely run back to the fence and climb out of my yard to take the long way home? And then what if we both live the rest of our lives never dealing with this situation again? It is a moment that is put behind us, not to be faced again. That is exactly what happens when I forgive you for the sin or the trespassing that you attempted against me.
People intentionally choose to sin against us, and even more, to sin against God. They hurt us with their intentions, their words, their greed, and their selfishness. In the midst of this reality and the sting that it brings, we can take comfort in this truth: they will someday face God and He will deal with their sin against you.
Day after day, we all trespass against one another, against God. Trespasses are deliberate intentions to ignore the boundaries established by God. It is a sin when we choose to climb over that fence put up by God to protect us from harm and commit the sin anyway. Just as that fence I put up around my yard was to protect you from the painful bite of my dog, whose only inclination is to protect his territory, so too are the boundaries that God set up to keep us safe. Those boundaries will become clearer and clearer the more we make God our focus and embrace Him as the most important thing in our life.
This Bible verse tells us that our choice to forgive or not forgive them for the pain that they have brought will absolutely have eternal consequences for us. It says that if we forgive the sin that others have committed against us, God will forgive us when we sin. If we cannot forgive those who have wronged us and instead harbor that pain, nursing it over and over again, becoming bitter in our soul toward them, God will not forgive us when we sin against Him.
So, as you go into this day, reflect and pray over the situations and the people that are causing you angst. Think about those moments when they “jumped” the fence into your space, causing you trouble and heartache. Work steadfastly and doggedly to forgive them, to let the pain go, to cling to Jesus in those situations that seem so impossible to forgive. The more that we fill our minds and hearts with focusing on and loving the Lord, the more that pain will lessen. The more we pray for that person who is just so difficult, the more we will begin to forgive them. The more we forgive, the freer we can live, knowing that our Father in heaven has forgiven us of so many things. Forgiveness is freedom.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Please forgive my trespasses for my deliberate choice to sin against you. Forgive the sinfulness in me that chose to take the shortcut instead of standing strong against the temptation. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me. Help me to release the unforgiveness, and the pain that they have caused. Hold me, comfort me as I journey through learning to forgive them. Be my Father as I live each day, learning to be more like you.
In your name, I pray, amen.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Thinkstock/chaunpis
Tiffany Thibault is the author of the Bible study “Being Fruitful;” she loves leading Bible Study and speaking to women, encouraging them through truths from the Bible. She lives in the Mojave desert with her family and loves to explore the wilderness areas around her city.
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