Prayer Focusweek 13 (Sunday-Shabbat)
FOCUS: The Season of Forgiveness
As we know, this is the season of Tshuvah, or turning to God. Everywhere I have turned this week, Godly people are talking about forgiveness. A few were a priest who presided over a funeral that I attended Friday spoke about forgiveness – reaching out to others to settle differences. Another was from one of the ministries we support, Christine Darg wrote a powerful article entitled Unforgiveness is Like Drinking Poison, (article is at end of this).
A very important part of repenting and turning to God in a deeper way is asking for forgivenessfrom God and othersandgiving forgivenessto those who have offended/hurt/ or just irritated us.
Verses upon which to meditate:
o “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins,” Matthew 6:14-15, NIV.
o “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you,” Colossians 3:13, NIV.
o “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors,” Matthew 6:12, American Standard.
o An orthodox Jewish man said, “I treat everyone as if they were holy; I was taught to ‘love you neighbor as yourself’.”
o “Lord God of Abraham, You are the author and finisher of our faith! Thank You that You have brought us these wonderful exhortations to forgive those who have irritated or hurt us. And, please, forgive us for our careless or unthinking words we have spoken to others. Help us to be sensitive. Help us to be instruments of Your peace. We pray Your healing for Phyllis – that You will be ever-present during her surgery & recovery. We pray that her healing will amaze the doctors. Lead, guide, and direct us to bring emotional healing to those around us. Thank You for Your intervention in & healing for each of the requests listed below! In Your most Holy Name, we pray.”
o Bonnie: feeling much better and was able to return to work.
o Fred (Bonnie’s brother): returned home! Did not have to go back to rehab!
o Les’a’s surgery was postponed til Dec – how wonderful it is knowing that HE orchestrates our lives according to His purpose!
o Dawn’s therapists continue to be amazed at how quickly she is healing and at the mobility. She said: “I believe it is because of our Lord and all the prayers – thank you!”
o Yvonne: I love this season of preparation! You can’t help but reflect on so many blessings and also work extra hard on ourselves and for those that need our prayers like His Love, Israel. “Bring out the sweat bands, we are working this week”!
o Yvonne: “We had our grandson, Ryan, for the entire day on Aug. 27th and were able to celebrate his birthday that evening. He turned 4 on the 30th.
o Brad, Kristen and I now have the capability to text and stay connected with more family and friends. Also, I can now be on the “Unstoppable Team” of prayer partners.
Requests: (please email updates on these situations)
o Phyllis: knee surgery on the 14th! Pray the God meets her in a very special way.
o Matt (Maxine’s son in law): God has been gracious and given him many good months. Cancer is again moving aggressively. He is in much pain.Barring a miracle he will be in hospice soon.
o Jon (Phyllis’ son): That God intervenes and places him where he will be encouraged to make good decisions which will impact his family for good, for Your good.
o Father: not being a very good recover patient. He is challenging my mother with being to active and is experiencing continual pain.
o Grandson: pray that his mom and her boyfriend treat him with love.
o A’s relationship with his daughter – that there would be a
healing and mending of hearts.
o Bob Kaiser (Maxine and Joe’s friend): special prayer for physical healing.
o Judy (Art’s, Norman’s, and Pamela’s friend): God will intervene in health issues. And God will strengthen Frank.
o PJ: inflammation in his back will go down, and his back will to return to normal without surgery. That he will not have to undergo back surgery.
o Deb: migraines and onslaught of the enemy.
o Sherri (Dawn’s daughter): migraines would permanently leave.
o Sherri (Pamela’s friend’s sister in law): critical condition with stomach/esophagus cancer.
o Natan and family (Les’a and Don’s son and his family): have a timely and easy return from Okinawa to El Paso. (unlike the 7-day saga they had going!) – Natan had an excellent return flight!
o 6 yr old Elijah (Beverly’s friend): severe shaking in one arm. He wants the shaking to stop and the scary people who he sees at night to go away.
o A and IDF (Israeli Defense Force, Israel’s army): safety, protection, and wisdom. Many of the residents and soldiers experience 100 enemy assaults/attacks in just ONE week!
o Marita: direction where she is to live. And when she is to return to Israel – she has been approved!
o Favor & wisdom in the work force: that those who need jobs will get jobs. That God will have God-chosen jobs.
o That children will stop running and will turn to God.
o That marriages will be healed.
o Corbin (Jim’s acquaintance): God will open his eyes to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior and that he will accept the word of God.
o Cynthia’s sister: recovering from a divorce.
o Cynthia and her sisters to meet godly men.
o Jon (Phyllis’ son) and David (Bev & Ruben’s son): they return to the God of their parents/ of their youth; that their families be healed.
o Sara (A’s daughter in law): her heart would be drawn to her husband; that the Lord would place believers in her path.
o A’s Medicare situation to be straightened out – to his financial benefit. And for doctors to find the right solution to his health issues.
o All of Deb’s requirements would be fulfilled and that she will get the part-time job.
o Ruthie (Bev’s friend): heavy spiritual attack; that she is encouraged and resists.
o T (Les’a & Don’s friend & a man of God): the Lord would bring him the perfect helpmate –to share his life and to be a partner in ministry.
o Families (all of our families): to be whole and walk in the ways of the Lord!
o CFS (we!): will have wisdom and tenacity to continue on to see victory!
Unforgiveness Is Like Drinking Poison
by Christine Darg
Unforgiveness is like drinking poison. It kills. It can cause sickness and disease. We won’t drink poison from a bottle that’s clearly labeled, yet spiritually we ingest poison every time we swallow a grudge. Unforgiveness is everywhere – even in the churches! None of us is immune to criticisms, backbiting, and accusations. Jesus said in Luke 17:1: “It is inevitable that offences will come.”
Every day we face negative situations. We must be realistic: unpleasant things will happen because of the malice of Satan and corruption in people’s hearts. The big question is HOW do we deal effectively with offences? Will we become bitter and twisted? Or, will we DO OURSELVES A FAVOR and forgive, so that we can move on with God! Some people are stuck in unforgiveness when they should be further down the road.
It’s so important that we learn to keep short accounts with God and people. I cannot afford to let the sun go down on my anger.
“A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a wounded spirit who can bear”
— Proverbs 18:13
It is truly unbearable to be around bitter people! My friend, life hurts — but God heals!
Christianity is well-known for emphasis on forgiveness, but what are the benefits of forgiving someone? Three scientifically proven benefits in medical studies:
1. Forgiveness reduces stress.
2. Forgiveness brings reduced pain, increased heart health, and promotes overall good health.
3. Stronger relationships, happiness, PEACE.
In one of His parables, Jesus plainly said that if you cannot forgive, God will give you to the TORMENTORS. Who are the tormentors? Demons! Isn’t it amazing that those who came to Yeshua for healing knew sickness and insanity were demonic. But today many are too “sophisticated” to cast out devils.
Why is it easier to forgive an enemy than a friend? My answer: we expect bad behavior from an enemy but not from friends and family.
R.T. Kendall, a great man of God, was bitter — friends betrayed him, made false accusations; he craved pity and sympathy, but he was shocked when a friend asked, “Have you totally forgiven them?” This question changed his life, and he eventually wrote the book, Total Forgiveness. He gained the grace to greet these people as if nothing had ever happened! Forgiveness sets us free. This is the same unconditional forgiveness Jesus gives to sinners.
What’s your story? Who do you need to forgive? Ask God to show you. Forgive somebody now!
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus touched the raw nerve of every human being when He taught us to pray, “Forgive us our debts, even as we forgive our debtors.” We like the first part about being forgiven, but we don’t relish the second part about having to cancel the debts of others. However, we MUST forgive like God forgives and forgets — TOTALLY.
But the problem is HOW? The question is not, “Will I forgive, but can I forgive?” If we are honest, “NO! I don’t have the power to forgive some things; I don’t have that much love.” But the Lord can give me the power and supernatural love to enable me to forgive. The Bible says, “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” We only can forgive others when we know God’s forgiveness. Thank You, Lord Jesus, that Your sinless red blood eternally washes my stains of sin, presenting me clean before God like the white, driven snow.”
A few of you may not need to forgive somebody now, but sooner or later, you will. I pray you will remember this message. Jesus stands just outside the door of our hearts, knocking. Will you invite Him in to do what only He can do? Do you want God to cancel your debts? How many will say, “With Your help, Lord, I choose to forgive my worst enemy and also my friends and family! I refuse to carry bitterness.”