FORGIVENESS: A SPIRITUAL CONDITION FOR EFFECTIVE PRAYER | Tuesday 1st Week of Lent | Day 6

One of the most difficult teachings of Christ is that of forgiveness and love of one's enemies. Many ask: how can I forgive those who deliberately offend me or seek my downfall? It is difficult! It is painful! Yes, it is difficult but not impossible. On this 6th day of our Lenten observance, the Lord wants us to reflect on the relationship between Prayer and forgiveness. Since Lent is a moment of intense prayer it is very important to pay attention, so that you don’t pray in vain. There are several reasons why we must forgive those who offend us and move on, if you wish to know, read slowly...

Matthew 6:7-15:

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘In your prayers do not babble as the pagans do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So you should pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us. And do not put us to the test, but save us from the evil one. ‘Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.’

POINTS FOR REFLECTION

1. Child of God, babbling in prayer means to pray with empty or weak words! If there are empty words, then there are powerful words. What are these powerful words that make effective prayer you ask me? It is nothing but the WORD of God. Psalm 29, 2 says: the voice of the Lord is full of power and splendor. Hebrews 4, 12 says: the word of God is alive and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. No wonder Jesus-the Word of God himself, teaches his disciples the right way to pray, as if to say, “if you want to pray, use the language I your God understand: pray with my language, pray with my word!

2. The Lord also emphasises forgiveness as a condition for God’s forgiveness. Remember the word of God is ineffective in the mouth of the sinner, hence we need to be cleansed that we may sing his praise and declare with his holy words! No wonder to proclaim the Word of God at mass, the priest prays silently: cleanse my heart and my lips O lord that I may worthily proclaim your words. And whenever the church gathers to pray, we begin with the words of Psalm 51, 15: Lord Open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. This cleansing is important so that our prayers will not be empty. So that our prayers don’t be a mockery on God’s word because he says in Isaiah 55, 11: ‘the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.’ When you pray with unforgiveness in your heart you mock God by making his words and your prayer empty.

TASK: Are you harbouring unforgiveness in your heart? Remember that person who offended you now and forgive that person. You will know you have forgiven when the remembrance of that hurt doesn’t pain again. Pray to God for help and he will help you heal completely, so that like scars of a healed wound, no pains will be felt again.

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2 Comments

  1. I absolutely enjoyed reading this message. The highlight for me is the test for forgiveness. Thank you for sharing Fr.

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    1. Thanks dearest God bless you much. Keep sharing the message

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