Dearly Beloved, Grace and Peace to you. Peter came and said to him, "Lord, if someone sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.” —Matthew 18. 21-22
Forgiving One, you unbind me from all my guilt, from all the hurt I have caused you and others, loving me perfectly. I thank you.
You hold in your heart the hurt I have received. My pain does not separate me from you. You work your grace for my healing.
Receive my anger, my desire to give back my pain— for you are the one who receives all the pain that I cause.
Free me from judging myself according to my pain, or judging one who has hurt me according to my pain. Deepen my trust that we are both souls in you.
Silence my conviction that I know what they deserve, and give me instead compassion for them, knowing that one who hurts others can only be hurting.
Open my heart to your infinite love for me, and so for them, love that is impervious to our faults, love for them that is undiminished by my suffering.
Remove all that prevents my loving them perfectly. I pray for them with heartfelt love and blessing. I find in their blessedness your joy, and in their forgiveness my own.
I pray this prayer as many times as it takes to feel it deeply, to say with joy: Amen.
Deep Blessings, Pastor Steve
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