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FORGIVENESS STARTS with refusing to rehearse the hurt continually. …
One way to stop rehashing an offense is to substitute prayer for negative thoughts. Such prayer embodies ancient Christian wisdom about how our inner world gets distorted and about how to straighten it out. We find these brief prayers in many places: favorite hymns, biblical passages, treasured saying, or names for God. They can be very simple: “God, help me.” “God, fill me with your love.” “Spirit of Jesus, free me.”
If no prayers of your own occur to you, try breathing in and out as you speak these phrases from the Psalms:
“Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love.” (Psalm 51:1)
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
Prayers like these turn our attention away from the hurt and the offending family member. They bring about inner stillness, replacing negative thinking with hopeful words of faith. They draw us toward God’s perspective and remind us that we need God’s help to stop clinging to injuries.
– Kathleen Fischer
Forgiving Your Family
From pages 57-58 of Forgiving Your Family: A Journey to Healing by Kathleen Fischer. Copyright © 2005 by Kathleen Fischer. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Is there hurt in you that needs prayer to heal? Share your thoughts.
The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught.
Mark 6:30, NRSV
This Week: pray for the peace of Christ. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
Did You Know?
In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.
This week we remember: Dorothea Dix (July 18).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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