Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

How Should I Pray, Week 2, Day 7

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MARK 11:25

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”

Why is our lack of condemnation so important to our prayer life and our relationship with Christ? Because of reciprocity. No one can have one attitude toward others and a different one before God! We cannot, John says, “hate our visible brother and love the invisible God” (1 John 4:20). The one who does not love others does not know God, who is love (John 4:8). James insists you cannot bless God and curse those made in his image (James 3:9). True humility, before God, he insists, will show up as humility with other people (James 4:6-12). Jesus tells us our forgiveness from God is contingent on our forgiveness of others (Matthew 6:14-15). Explicitly with regard to prayer, he says “If you are praying, forgive anything you have against anyone, so your Father in the heavens may forgive you” (Mark 11:25).

Prayer

Gracious God, We do not want to have split spiritual personalities, adapting one posture with you and another attitude with others. Grant us a unified heart and life. Help us let go of grudges, and condemning attitudes so that we can know more of the freedom and security of your Kingdom and more of the joy of your presence. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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How Should I Pray, Week 2, Day 6

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GALATIANS 6:1-2

My friends, if anyone is really caught transgressing, the spiritual ones among you should restore this person in a spirit of gentle humility, remembering yourselves so you are not put to the test.

Here Paul stresses the great maturity required to correct others and the conditions under which this is possible. He notes that correction must be for things we know are clearly wrong and should be undertaken by those working under the Spirit’s direction. It should aim not to fix others or put them in their place, but to restore them. Those correcting must be humble, knowing we are all vulnerable to missteps, and so we must feel the weight of the other person’s life struggle.

These faith community instructions apply equally strongly to our families and to our other networks of relationship.

Prayer

Gracious God, If we value others as you do and respect their freedom and integrity, we must be so careful about correction. Yet we need to be able to help one another to grow and develop and change. Give us wisdom, restraint, and gentle attitudes in this task, with our church, and within our homes. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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