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Week 5: 21 Weeks of Prayer & Fasting

WEEK 5

A Call to Consecration - Practice Forgiveness

DL Moody said, "I firmly believe a great many prayers are not answered because we are not willing to forgive someone. Why is it our prayers often seem to go unheard? Could it be we have failed to forgive? It seems curious that we who have sinned much and been forgiven much find it so hard to forgive."  

Let me ask you a question, is there any sin that God justifies? In other words does God ever look at sin and say it's OK? Of course not, then why do we? Un-forgiveness is a sin and when we refuse to forgive because of what was done to us or said about us we are practicing un-forgiveness. When we have un-forgiveness God does not forgive us and he does not hear our prayers. These are not the words or opinion of men but of our God. The real question is do we trust God? Do we believe that his justice is better then ours? When we refuse to forgive we are refusing God's forgiveness. Part of the challenge is that we think forgiveness is about a feeling and because we do not feel like forgiving we choose not to. But the truth is that forgiving is an act of obedience to God. If you don't... I won't... 

The other challenge we face is that we think forgiveness is dependent upon the guilty party repenting and asking for forgiveness, but what if that never happens, what if the guilty party is no longer living, are we then destined to be bound by the chains of un-forgiveness? When we forgive someone we release him or her to the justice of God and His justice is perfect and his freedom is complete.  

If we expect God to listen and hear our prayers then we must come before Him according to His Word. We must humble ourselves, repent for our sin and practice forgiveness. It is not about being perfect in our actions but allowing God to continue to perfect us in His love. Remember all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  

There is another side of forgiveness that we must be willing to face. Not only are we called to forgive but we are also called to ask for forgiveness when we have committed offense or sin against another. Remember God never justifies sin therefore when we are found with sin in our heart even if in response to something done to us God still calls it sin and a price must still be paid. You can only control your actions and responses. Paul reminds us that as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay" says the lord (Romans 12:17-18).  

RESPOND

Worship the Lord and let His love speak into your heart. Invite Him into those hard places of pain and brokenness. Forgive those who have hurt you not because they deserve it but because you long to be free.  

Are you holding an offense? Do you have anger, criticism, and condemnation toward another person? Have you withdrawn emotionally and isolated yourself from loved ones because of fear of being hurt? God is kind and compassionate, faithful and just. Trust Him and let go!  

REPENT 

Be jealous for your relationship with God. Repentance for un-forgiveness will release the blessing and power of God over your life.  

  • Take time to biblically deal with each sin that God has shown you. If God brings to your remembrance any people who you need to forgive or seek forgiveness from do it quickly in obedience.  
  • Ask God to forgive you for holding on to the hurt and not trusting Him with your freedom.  
  • Repent for not loving others the way God has loved you. If there is anyone in your life that you have sinned against go to him or her as you are able and repent for your sin regardless of his or her response.

PRAY

O loving and kind God, have mercy. Have pity upon me and take away the awful stain of my transgressions. Oh, wash me, cleanse me from this guilt. Let me be pure again. For I admit my shameful deed-it haunts me day and night. It is against you and you alone I sinned and did this terrible thing. You saw it all, and your sentence against me is just. Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires. Don't toss me aside, banished forever from your presence. Don't take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. (Psalm 51:1-12 TLB)

WORSHIP 

"Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" by Hillsong United

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus, you're my God!

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Chris Goodwin