By Rodney Marsh —
The Lord’s Prayer “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”
When asking for God’s forgiveness, it is wise to remember that God already knows us more thoroughly than we know, or can know, ourselves – the good and the bad, the pleasing and the shameful. Prayer, as Jesus’ teaches us, is more an opening of the heart to love than it is a function of the mind asking or pleading. This is the key to receiving and giving forgiveness.
Receiving a fresh start, a new beginning, having a ‘clean’ slate every day is essential to a fulfilling life. So when we pray, every day, “Father…forgive us”, God offers, every day, fresh heart knowledge (‘I am loved’) and the healing grace to love others to the same degree. Opening ourselves to God’s forgiveness means we receive grace and healing of our own hurts and, as a consequence, enhance our capacity to forgive others. To pray “forgive us” brings interior healing to us and a healing of relationships with others, by exposing us to the grace and love of God.
Children understand this essential simplicity of love and forgiveness. Children naturally and easily open themselves to a new beginning every day. Adults can too, but such openness requires childlike humility.
When we pray “ Father… forgive us” we pray with John Birch:
Bless this day,
this blank page, newly turned.
May its story, once written,
bring only glory to your name.