Wednesday Riff: Father Forgive

A Prayer Exercise – based on Matthew 18 vv 15-20

Begin by reading the following passage from  Matthew 18:

15 “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the fault. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. 16But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 17If that person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. If the church decides you are right, but the other person won’t accept it, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector. 18 I tell you this: Whatever you prohibit on earth is prohibited in heaven, and whatever you allow on earth is allowed in heaven.
19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree down here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together because they are mine, I am there among them.”

Now read the following prayer exercise, leaving pauses for reflection where stated:

As we consider our relationships with others, let’s a take a moment to reflect on this reading and call to mind any folks who have hurt us, any people we have disagreements with, any folks we find difficult.

(pause)

Now place your closed fists on your lap and gently open them before God, imaging that you are letting go of any anger, struggles or pain you feel. Releasing these things to God. Not justifying or explaining them, just offering them to God.

(pause)

Now imagine that your hands are God’s hands and that those who have wronged you in any way are standing in those hands, held by God.

(pause)

Now read the following prayer, this could be done with two or more voices:

Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.
Thank you so much Jesus for those words of forgiveness.
Thank you for the releasing power of your sacrifice on that cross.
Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.
Lord please help us with our relationships,
Help us when it’s difficult, when things go wrong.
Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.
Please help us to have the courage and the gentleness
To relate to one another about past mistakes and those things that have hurt us.
Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.
Thank you for your forgiveness, and for the new start you have given us,
Thank you for the chance to begin again.
Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.
Please help us, not just today, but in the coming days,
To weave honesty, integrity, forgiveness and truth
Into our daily lives and relationships.
In the name of Jesus we ask this,

Amen.

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