Some months ago I was experiencing a particularly difficult time. I was depressed and felt God was so far away from me He could not or was not listening to my prayers. Consequently, my prayer life became weaker and weaker. I was discussing this problem with a good friend of mine and told him how I was feeling and that I had come to the point that I did not even know how to pray for the situation. His advice was to start with the “great prayer taught by Jesus”.
It was such a simple solution! I started reaching out to God daily through the Lord’s Prayer. When I got to “forgive me my sins that I commit daily as I forgive those who sin against me” I started to name my sins one by one. I also spoke the names of the people that had hurt me deeply and asked God to place forgiveness in my heart. God was showing me the unforgiveness I was carrying around inside me. He reminded me of the many times He has forgiven me and told me to forgive others as He has forgiven me.
Most Christians realize our path to God will be greatly hindered and even blocked off at times because of unforgiveness. I had become somewhat blind to that fact. I had also become blind to the fact I needed God’s forgiveness on a daily basis. Not just when I felt like asking for it. And I needed to forgive on a daily basis.
When we are preparing our horses for our daily rides we always groom them thoroughly. We look for new bumps and bruises and anything out of the ordinary. We brush off the old dirt and they look shiny and pretty. That is what God does for us when we go to him daily and ask for his forgiveness. He brushes of the old dirt (sin) until we are all shiny and pretty! What a good God we have! He takes the bumps and bruises we suffer each day and soothes them with His loving kindness. He brings the peace and joy we so badly need in this life on earth.
Our horses may not work for us perfectly every day. Even though we give them the best care possible. We will forgive these horses and try again the next day. We do not always behave the way God would like us to behave. He loves us anyway. He loves us unconditionally! What a good God we have!
This is the way I say the Lord’s Prayer:
Father God in heaven
Your name is holy above all others
May your kingdom come soon and
May your will be done right here on earth as it is done in heaven.
Thank you for taking care of us every day and supplying all our needs.
Forgive me the sins that I commit daily (name the ones that you are aware of—no pride here!)
As I forgive those who have sinned against me (name them by name and state your forgiveness toward them).
I know you will not lead me into any temptation because that is of the devil so if temptation comes upon me I will look to you for strength.
Protect me and deliver me from all schemes of satan.
Yours is the kingdom I strive for.
You are the most powerful.
To you will be given the glory!
Mathew 6: 9-15
Mark 11: 25
Colossians 3: 13
1 John 1:9