‘Then from heaven, your dwelling-place, hear their prayer and their pleas, and uphold their cause. And forgive your people, who have sinned against you.’ (v39) 2 Chronicles 6:36–39
Forgiveness turns the world right-side up. God has always known this and demonstrated the power of forgiveness through the life and death of Jesus. The undeserving, including us, were offered an opportunity to renew friendship with their creator. At a more mundane level, forgiveness has been scientifically shown to improve our health.
A recent professional journal carried the headline, ‘How stress degrades and forgiveness protects health.’ It suggests that ‘developing a more forgiving coping style may help minimize stress-related disorders’. The cross rises above history as a prayer of forgiveness for all time. Its victim, Jesus, now resurrected and ascended, makes intercession beside the Father for fallen humanity.
We join our prayers with His and know that the greatest gift we offer to the world is the reconciliation between humanity and God. For, as forgiveness is received, a new citizen, a sinner rescued from sin and destruction, is born. A citizen who embraces the act of forgiveness as a way of life and seeks to live every day with Jesus in loving God and neighbour. Forgiveness lies at the heart of all prayer.
Both in our own forgiveness and then asking God to intervene and bring people to repentance and faith. There may be many complex mechanisms for managing human relationships, but everyone longs to enjoy the freedom of knowing they are forgiven, accepted and loved.
Related Scripture to Consider: Psa. 103; Micah 7:8–20; Luke 7:36–50; Eph. 3:14–21.
An Action to Take: Finding forgiveness is wonderful, but knowing you’re forgiven transforms your life. In what ways are you free to love and forgive others because of God’s loving acceptance?
A Prayer to Make: ‘Lord, show compassion to those ruled by the hatred born of hurt and misunderstanding. I pray that as I am forgiven I will forgive others. Amen.’
Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash