Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple


Thanksgiving Prayer: Forgiveness

posted by Mark Herringshaw

“Sin” is a nasty and out of fashion word. There, I wrote it. “Sin.” Completely politically incorrect. Say “sin” in a crowed movie theater and you’ll likely incite a stampede for the door. Say “sin” in an actually movie and you’ll never work in Hollywood again. We can say anything else in this culture and be yawned at. But we can’t say “sin” and mean it.

Yet avoiding the problem described by the “S” word doesn’t make it go away. At all. We know that actions bring reactions. We know and accept that we must take responsibility for our choices. The consequences of what we say and do always come back to call us to account. Shall we say the word together… “Sin.”  

I can feel the resistance growing out there… Okay, let’s change the game. How ’bout if we call it… “Karma” instead? There, does that feel better?

Granted, our American version of the idea behind Karma is simple to the point of simplistic. What we generally mean when we throw the word into a sentence say, “Wow, I just got hit by a car. Must be bad Karma from when I beat up my brother in 2nd grade…” does not do justice to its deeper, nuanced Eastern philosophical meaning. Forget ever understanding it fully. If you attended a traditional western school, your mind has been permanently incapacitated from ever grasping the Hindu and Buddhist use of Karma. In our frame of reference it’s simple reciprocity. We reap what we sow; What goes around comes around; For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Sorry to any students of the East, but that’s about as much as you’ll get from the average American trying to leverage the vision of Karma. Think “Earl” as in “My Name is Earl.” He’s as sophisticated as most of us get.

Back to the “S” word… Karma can be a way for us to partially understand “sin” a little better. The law of sin also holds me accountable for all my foul actions. Sin also demands a real accounting. Either way, whether I call it Karma or sin, at the bottom line, I’m doomed. If I must recoup for all my actions and make up for them, I’d be bankrupt. I can never do good fast enough. Nor can I work my way to salvation. I need an out, a loophole, a pardon. I need… [New word] “forgiveness.” Yes, I need someone to pay my debt, my sin debt, my Karmic debt.

The good news: It’s already done! I only need to accept the gift, then send a thank you note!

As thanksgiving draweth nigh, we’re posting suggestions about ways to leverage prayer to make the holiday come to life. Today, I suggest a simple prayer thanking God for forgiving us of the debt we own to his Universal Bank of Reciprocity.  

Psalm 103 begins: “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…” Not forgetting the benefits that are ours by right is the first step toward true Thanksgiving. And the first benefit David, who penned this lyric, mentioned: “Who forgives all our sins…” Forgiving us of the consequences of our actions is benefit #1. It’s a huge one. God, in Jesus takes a debt that isn’t his and gives us blessings that were not ours. It’s a life swap. For that, we should be truly thankful!

God, thank you that I do not have to pay all the moral debt I have accrued. I acknowledge that you have taken my place and in that place have given to me all your freedom and joy and purity. With all the things I’ve done in my life, I should never expect true goodness in return. But you do not count my sin against me. You take the weight on yourself. Knowing that I know I can give you…. [name something you need to dump] and in return I accept your pardon. It isn’t fair; but you are good. Thank you! Thank you!”

If you’d like to learn more about forgiveness and the principle of “dumping your Karma” on Jesus, go to www.dumpyourkarma.com, and then pick up my new book, The Karma of Jesus.   



  • http://www.msn.com rev Stanley Ray Mcqueen

    thank for speaking the truth injoyed your thought on the subject , thank and we love you , mountain preacher777

Previous Posts

A Prayer for our Children in School
"I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding." Philippians 1:9 Paul prayed this for his beloved spiritual children. Let us join him in praying for the children in our lives as they embark on a new school year. Our Father,

posted 10:34:40am Aug. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Learning How to Live in the Moment
"Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving."   ~Colossians 4:2 "Mom and Dad," said our son one day last year when we were visiting him in Santa Barbara where he was attending college, "I think you guys are great, but it seems like you're always talking about the futu

posted 8:43:16am Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Search Me. Giving Your Heart a Fresh Start Daily
Search me, Oh God and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there be any offensive way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. ~King David, Psalm 139 Something was smelly in our fridge the past week, and try as I may, I couldn't find it. Hiding on a shelf in the door

posted 8:19:25am Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

A Prayer For Anyone Getting Engaged
Thirty-two years ago today Mark took me to a small lake near my home in Minnesota where he bent on one knee and pulled out a ring and put it on my finger. We were so young and so happy. For many years we experienced much joy in our relationship. Then we hit some bumps and jolting potholes in the

posted 11:59:54am Aug. 12, 2014 | read full post »

The Path of Peace - Taking Steps Toward Intimacy with God
Psalm 95 Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods. He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the might

posted 12:06:16pm Aug. 11, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.