Jesus said, ‘When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
‘Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Today is Tuesday the 12 March, in the First Week of Lent.
Saviour of my soul, this day keep me whole. Can I join in this prayer, as I listen? Can I present myself now to the One who forgives all my failings and shortcomings, who has given himself freely for my sake, and trust myself entirely to his mercy?
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.
Forgiveness is so important to Jesus that he makes being forgiven ourselves part of our forgiveness of others. We might all hope that God will be more forgiving of us than we sometimes are of other people. Are you always as forgiving as you could be? Do you expect more of others than you do of yourself?
Real forgiveness is often a long process sometimes requiring a search for justice, an expression of anger or hurt, or an acknowledgement of a sin which has been committed. Who do you need to forgive?
What is the next step in your journey of forgiveness?What do you need to help you?
Listen again. What are your reactions to the simplicity of Jesus’ response to the disciples’ question?
Which line of this prayer speaks to you most today?Stay with that line in the presence of your Father in heaven.