Matthew 6:9, 12, 14
This then is how you should pray: . . . Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. . . . For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Confessing sin—other people’s sin—is an obsession in our culture. Conversations regularly turn to the details of someone’s transgression. I think the little boy overheard in prayer had it right with his petition: “Forgive us our trash passing as we forgive those who pass trash against us.” Jesus reminds us that to see the need in someone else, we must first remove what obstructs our vision (Matt. 7:5). In these days set aside for prayer, I want to start by searching my vision and checking for cataracts. My critical assessment of others softens with the honest examination of my own heart. I remember what my friend Dana Walling used to say: “A critical mind isn’t sin, but a critical spirit is, and there is a short hop between the two.” I have discovered that my honest confession of need opens pathways for others that my harsh judgment never does.
O Lord, it is easy to fall into the pattern of the culture around us and become harsh and critical. Please help us by your grace to speak words of hope and life. Help us to see what you see.
Prayer Journal Reflections
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you today about the Lord’s protection, direction, and revelation for your life and the life of the church?
—Jerry Kester, District Superintendent, Washington Pacific