Forgive and Release

‘When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them.’ Mark 11:25 NIV

When someone hurts us, our natural response is to either hurt them back or hope they’ll suffer for what they’ve done. Yet as redeemed children of God, we know this is the wrong response. It isn’t long before we discover forgiving someone doesn’t come naturally or easily; it requires supernatural grace.

And where do we get that? Through prayer! Jesus said, ‘When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in Heaven may forgive you your sins.’

Recalling God’s grace towards you leaves you no choice but to extend that same grace towards someone who hurts you.

Lewis Smedes said, ‘Forgiveness is a decision to set a prisoner free, and then discovering that the prisoner is you.’ So if you have a desire to forgive someone, get excited; the Holy Spirit has already done half the job. To complete the other half, humble yourself and pray: ‘Heavenly Father, I turn from every desire I have to pay back this wrong. You saw the situation before it happened, and in Your infinite wisdom You allowed it to be so. Your Word says that “all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28 KJV)—even this for my good—so from this moment on, with the help of Your Holy Spirit, I forgive them. I will not dwell on the situation but will declare Your Word instead.’

That’s called ‘a prayer of release’. And you’re not just releasing your offender; you’re releasing and repositioning yourself to walk in God’s blessing. That’s why you must forgive them!

SoulFood: Matt 6:5–15, Jam 5:13–18, 1 Thes 5:16–18

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2020

Today’s Readings

Matthew 6:5–15 ()

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“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

  “Our Father in heaven,
  hallowed be your name.
10   Your kingdom come,
  your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11   Give us this day our daily bread,
12   and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13   And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

James 5:13–18 ()

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13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

James 5:1 ()

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5:1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 ()

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16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Sun 25 October, 2020


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