prayer-handsOver the past few weeks we have been studying about forgiveness as Jesus has presented it in Matthew 18. This week as we pray we focus on forgiveness. Remembering to forgive ourselves as well as others. This prayer is adapted from Worship for an Easter People vol. 3 by Frederick A Styles.

Come to us, oh God, in the time of troubled spirit, when alienation and the loneliness of isolation from one another makes our world a bitter and unhappy place.

Forgiveness is the common need for all people, the definition of what it is to be human. Yet, we know how hard it is to forgive those who have injured or offended us. The unkind or thoughtless word that cuts the sensitive spirit, the act that violates our person-hood.

When we clutch tightly to ourselves our grudges and our resentments toward others, so that our hands are closed and we cannot accept your forgiveness of us whisper softly within our hearts of your love that reaches over and through the barriers we have imposed, to draw us again to yourself.

Set us free of our past failures to be what you would have us be and what we ourselves would choose to be. So that we in turn may learn to forgive and so experience the joy of relationship made new with those around us and with you, our God, through the healing that forgiveness brings. Amen.