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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. (Hebrews 12:15)

Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
    and I was all torn up inside.
 I was so foolish and ignorant—
    I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
Yet I still belong to you;
    you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
    leading me to a glorious destiny. (Psalm 73:21-24)

Bitterness is poison. Jesus knew this when He commanded us to forgive anyone and everyone who has sinned against us. I used to think that some sins were unforgivable and that God would excuse me from forgiving when the offense caused excessive pain or trauma. Not so. What I didn’t understand was that forgiveness was the key to the healing I needed from the event that caused me pain. When I make the decision to release an individual from the responsibility of harming or offending me, I release myself from the chains that tie me to their sin and to that pain and to the individuals themselves. When I forgive, then I’m the one who goes free. It’s a counter-intuitive, counter-cultural truth, and it works wonders in the soul.

Got bitterness? Get forgiveness.

Father,

You know the depth of my pain and sorrow. You yourself were anything but exempt from it while you were on this earth.  And as you were suffering, you continually issued forgiveness to the perpetrators of your suffering. You said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” So, Jesus, with your help, I speak those same words over those who have captured my soul with bitterness. This bitterness has hindered me long enough, stunting my growth as an adult, as a leader, as a parent, as a person. I let it go as an act of obedience to your command. Every time it tries to take root in my mind I will cast it out like an intruder. This is final. Your Word takes final authority in my life. I choose to forgive. Now, please lead me to my glorious destiny.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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