But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:25 (NLT)
Make A List
Make a list. Make a list of what? What’s our topic? You want me to make a list of people to forgive? You got that right. There is no need to hurry either. I want you to think deeply. I want you to go way back. How far? Go back to your earliest years and keep going right up until today. Put everyone on your list that has harmed or hurt you. Make your list as exhaustive as your memory will allow. You will need to come back to your list several times before it is really complete. Don’t leave anyone who has hurt or harmed you off your list. Do you understand the task? Yes, I do.
Once you have completed your list forgive everyone that has hurt or harmed you. Let go of the pain that they caused you. Release yourself from the anger and resentment that you have held on to all these days and months and years. Offer a prayer of blessing for everyone on your list. You are going to be forgiving each person. You are going to be moving on from the baggage that you have carried as a result of the ways that you have been hurt. You are going to be set free from the weight of your unforgiveness. You are not minimizing your past hurts. You have been hurt. You have been wounded. There is no doubt about that. I am here to heal all your hurts and wounds. Today, you will be moving forward. You will no longer allow your past hurts and wounds to keep on harming you. Today you will be set free as you forgive others just as I have forgiven you. How does this sound to you? It sounds fantastic. I have held on to anger and resentment and unforgiveness for far too long. You got that right.
Going forward I want you to have a heart that is ready, willing and able to forgive others. No longer will you hold on to anger, resentment and unforgiveness. No longer will you keep a list of who has wronged you. No longer will you seek revenge. No longer will try to get even. No longer will you let the bitterness of unforgiveness hinder your prayers. Here is what I want you to do. When you start to pray I want you to take a quick inventory. Ask yourself if there is anyone that you need to forgive. Offer your forgiveness to those who have hurt and harmed you and then move on and draw near to me in prayer. Will you do this? Yes Lord, I will forgive others just as you have forgiven me. That will be very good.
Lord, I don’t want to be unforgiving. I don’t want my prayers to be hindered. I want to be ready to forgive others as you have forgiven me of all my sins. Help me to be a witness for you by the way that I show your unconditional love and forgiveness to others. Amen
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