Pause for Prayer: FRIDAY 2/19

lent mercy 2016
During Lent 2016 we'll be looking at mercy in our lives a couple of days each week: how we need God's mercy AND how we can be show mercy to one another.  Previous posts on this topic are collected here.

I wonder if any of us would be so bold as to stand before God and say:
   Lord, love me - in the same way you see me love others...
   Lord, take care of me - in the same way you see me care for others...
   Lord, forgive me - in the same way you see me forgive others...
   Lord: love, care for and forgive me as I do others - no more, no less...

I don't think we'd be so bold as to pray that way and yet,
every time we say the Lord's prayer, we pray:
   Forgive us our trespasses,
      as we forgive those who trespass against us...

In Matthew 6, right after Jesus gives us his prayer,
he elaborates on two lines - guess which two!
   If you forgive others their transgressions,
      your heavenly Father will forgive you.
   But if you do not forgive others,
      neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.

Looks like Jesus thought this was important for us to understand...

God's mercy is infinite and is offered to every one - without exception.
And God calls every one (that includes you and me, without exception)
   to show mercy to one another - the mercy God shows us...

(Take a look, again, at the meaning of mercy...)

Now, let's Pause for Prayer:

Lord of mercy,
   what you ask of me here sometimes seems impossible!

Do you really expect me to be merciful to someone
   who's hurt me?  ignored me? 
   abandoned me?  taken me for grated? 
   blamed me for things I didn't do? 
   used me? misjudged me?

But even as I pray those words I think of the times
   when I've hurt you... ignored you...
   abandoned you... taken you for granted...
   blamed you for things you didn't do...
   used you and misjudged you...

As I need you to forgive me, 
   so do I need to forgive those who've offended me...

This mercy business isn't easy, Lord!
My heart nurses grudges, resentments and anger
   while your heart seeks only my contrition,
   my desire to be forgiven...

In the relationships where I find it almost impossible
   to forgive, to pardon, to be merciful,
make me mindful of how much you have forgiven me,
   and open my heart in mercy as you have opened yours to me...



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