Unanswered prayers (5)
The fifth obstacle to answered prayer is an unforgiving spirit. Our anger might feel justified, but it can end up hurting us in the long run. If we refuse to let it go, we can become bitter. Jesus said, ‘If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift’ (v.23-24 NIV). Even if we’re certain the other person is at fault, we should set aside our anger and resentment and forgive them before bringing our requests to God. He says, ‘I am the One who erases all your sins, for my sake; I will not remember your sins’ (Isaiah 43:25 NCV). We need to remember that just as He forgives us and forgets what we’ve done wrong, He does the same for others. That means we shouldn’t keep bringing up the sins and wrongs of others. We might think that they don’t deserve to be forgiven; in fact, none of us do, but God keeps forgiving us anyway. The Bible says ‘Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you’ (Ephesians 4:32 NIV). When we forgive someone, it doesn’t mean the hurt we feel isn’t valid. Instead it means we’re letting go of the anger and trusting God to deal out His justice as He sees fit. Before we pray, we need to check if we’re holding on to any resentment, then bring it all into the open before God.
Before you pray today, think about if there’s anyone you need to forgive. If there is, take some time to ask God to help you let go of any bitterness and forgive that person.
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