I Have to Forgive Them?

Jesus’ Example Prayer continues with “and forgive us our debts, as we ourselves have forgiven our debtors.”  I think we all know that we should forgive, but practically living that out is challenging. 

I remember reading Corrie ten Boom’s book, The Hiding Place when I was in high school.  The story gripped me; I couldn’t put it down.  I am still amazed by her stories of forgiveness. I recently read that during the 1975 premiere of the movie based on her story, someone threw a tear gas canister into the theater. The canister had the Nazi swastika symbol. An act that is hard to forgive. Corrie’s response follows Jesus’ example.

“What we have to do is love these people who hate us—love them, pray for them. These people are wounded people who have hate in their hearts. They need forgiveness. They need the Lord. That is the answer we must give.”

Corrie ten Boom

Wow!  God’s power at work.

We need to follow the examples God gives us through people like Corrie ten Boom and her family.  God provides the grace to forgive, no matter the sin.

God is so good.

What Kind of Need

As we study Jesus’ Example Prayer, we might get stuck on “daily bread” as asking only for physical needs. Our first thought of needs tends to be those physical needs. However, I wonder if we should include spiritual needs in that prayer.

Lydia Brownback in her book Joy: A Godly Woman’s Adornment talks about prayers in the Bible. She says that we tend to pray for physical needs because we know what we gain from them. She encourages us to pray Philippians 1:9-11.

“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

Lydia reminds us of the great joy that comes from allowing God to provide spiritual needs. (pages 103-104)

Friends, as we pray we need to remember what is important. God cares about everything, but we need to be careful about getting stuck on asking for the wrong requests. We will gain so much more if we pray for our spiritual needs ahead of our physical needs.

God is so good.

But I Need This

Jesus’ Example Prayer continues with a simple request for our needs to be met. “Give us today our daily bread.”

Our study of God’s kingdom and His will should direct our focus regarding our needs. What we perceive as needs in our lives might be wants. As we take time to pray in the way Jesus’ taught, we will be better prepared to understand our needs. We will also be more aware of the sometimes ordinary and sometimes extra-ordinary ways God meets those needs.

God is so good.

Yours, Ours, Mine – HIS

Jesus’ example prayer reminds us of the order things should go in. It starts with a few reminders of Who should be first. “Your will be done” is one of those reminders. The only way we can put God first – to be willing to put our own will aside, is to pray and ask God to help us. We need to read and study His Word (the Bible). How can we know His will otherwise?

Friend, I pray that you seek Him today and every day. His way, His will is always best.

Repetition is the Key to Learning

When I was in 7th grade, my English teacher told us that repetition was the key to learning. Then she proceeded to have us say that numerous times. I have learned the benefit of repetition to learning anything.

God teaches us with repetition in His Word. In Jesus’ Example Prayer, He starts with “Your kingdom come” and then continues with “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Both statements remind us that we need to submit to God’s way instead of trying to live our own.

God loves us so much, that He is willing to repeat over and over again to remind us of what we need.

God is so good.