FORGIVENESS STARTS with refusing to rehearse the hurt continually. …
One way to stop rehashing an offense is to substitute prayer for negative thoughts. Such prayer embodies ancient Christian wisdom about how our inner world gets distorted and about how to straighten it out. We find these brief prayers in many places: favorite hymns, biblical passages, treasured saying, or names for God. They can be very simple: “God, help me.” “God, fill me with your love.” “Spirit of Jesus, free me.”
If no prayers of your own occur to you, try breathing in and out as you speak these phrases from the Psalms:
“Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love.” (Psalm 51:1)
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present helpp in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
Prayers like these turn our attention away from the hurt and the offending family member. They bring about inner stillness, replacing negative thinking with hopeful words of faith. They draw us toward God’s perspective and remind us that we need God’s help to stop clinging to injuries.
- Kathleen Fischer
Forgiving Your Family
From pages 57-58 of Forgiving Your Family: A Journey to Healing by Kathleen Fischer. Copyright © 2005 by Kathleen Fischer. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Which short prayer above speaks to you? Share your thoughts.
He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”
John 21:17, NRSV
This Week: pray those who have no home. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.
Did You Know?
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This week we remember
Dietrich Bonhoeffer. (April 9).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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