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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#1041. Let's receive and give forgiveness in prayer (24/4/24)

This week, in our Luke series, we are reflecting on Jesus’ teaching on prayer from Luke 11:1-13. Today we consider the place of confession in prayer.  


‘One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.”’ (Luke 11:1-4) 

Lesson: Giving and receiving forgiveness, as a daily habit, is vital for our health. 


You can listen to this devotional at:




This theme of giving and receiving forgiveness is about peace with God and with others. I’m sure that we all have those moments when we are stood with a group of people, one of whom, really needs a shower! It probably reveals my pride when, in such moments, I hope that no-one thinks that the smell is coming from me! We all, I trust, know how important it is to wash. However, do we regularly cleanse ourselves of the sin committed by us or against us through confession? How many of us allow our relations with God, with others and our inner peace to be infected and stink through lack of forgiveness! Like a gardener, we need to constantly deal with the weeds that threaten to grow up in our relationships. 


Seek forgiveness 

Firstly, Jesus teaches us to pray, “Forgive us our sins”. As we go through the day, and at the particular moments of devotion, we are to ask the Father to forgive us. If we’ve lusted, been angry, lied, stolen, failed to keep a commitment, been fearful and anxious… we are to confess our sin, ask for forgiveness, and ask the Father to help you to change. 


Give forgiveness 

Likewise, as we go through the day and people sin against us, we are to be aware of this and purposely forgive them before God. We are to choose to allow God to be the judge rather than take on that role and become bitter and self-righteous. Unforgiveness, if unchecked, will imprison us; as any of us could break free from a few threads of cotton that bind us, so it only takes a few, ignored, small hurts to bind any of us, unbreakably, to jealousy, vitriol,  hate and self-righteousness. 


Response

Giving and receiving forgiveness as a daily habit is vital to our health. If we fail to continually forgive, our lives will leave behind a trail of broken relationships and churches that we have left. If we fail to forgive, it’s very likely that we are failing to regularly remember the gospel and God’s grace toward us. Jesus’ confronts such people with this example: 


‘Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”’ (Luke 7:47-48) 

Do you focus on seeking forgiveness from God or ruminating on your anger at others for the very things that you yourself have done! Those who focus on seeking forgiveness for themselves will find it much easier to have mercy on the failings of others and find it easy to extend the forgiveness that they know they need.  

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

This Sunday we have Dale Barlow from the New Ground leadership team coming to speak on The Holy Spirit so let's be praying in advance for our time together.



Please ensure that the members of your group are aware and familiar with using the daily devotionals, which are accessed in Church News, the Teaching button on the website and are now available on the major podcast platforms. 


2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you? 


3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.


4. Study and pray together

Our message from our series in Luke on Sunday, based upon Jesus’ teaching on prayer from Luke 11:1-13. Having set them such an example of devotion to prayer His disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray. Jesus gives them a structure that contains the vital elements that need to be in our prayer-life personally and as churches.   


Please read Luke 11:1-13, and discuss: 

  • Did God speak to you about anything specifically from Sunday’s message?

  • Praise - Jesus teaches us to begin with praise: “Father, hallowed be your name.” How can we use the Bible in our worship? 

  • Petitions - Secondly, Jesus teaches us to ask for things: “Your kingdom come [your will be done]. Give us each day our daily bread.” What has been your experience of God answering your petitions? 

  • Peacemaking - Thirdly, we are to make peace by receiving and giving forgiveness: “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.” Are we doing this and why is this important? 

  • Protection - Finally, we are to ask for protection as a constant habit: “And lead us not into temptation.” Why do we need to do this every day without fail? 

  • Perseverance - The final section (11:5-13) contains two parables that teach us to persevere in prayer. What promises does this section give to inspire faith for persevering? 

  • SIV - Praying, “Your kingdom come” involves asking God to bring people into His Kingdom. How faithfully are you praying for individuals and for multitudes to enter the kingdom? 

  • SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  • Let’s pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV; and pray for anything else that's come out of our time in God’s Word.

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