and forgive us…

The case for justice largely depends on whether you’re receiving it or dishing it out. The last time I was stopped by traffic police I was far more interested in mercy than justice. And let’s be honest, if mercy and forgiveness were as effective as we wished, judges would simply say to criminals “OK you’re forgiven! Now aren’t you ashamed of yourself? Well, you just go home and feel guilty for a few years and that’ll teach you!”

Guilt is only a motivator if you get caught. That’s why believing that God is always watching you is so important. If he’s not who cares? One of my favorite scenes in a movie is from Oh Brother Where Art Thou? when Delmar gets saved and baptized and proclaims he’s been forgiven of holding up a Piggly Wiggly. Everett reminds him that while he might be “square with the Lord,” the great state of Mississippi takes a different view.

Self accusation, guilt, negative internal dialogue, whatever you choose to call it, it all stands in the way of your being in clear contact with the Father Creator. And it only changes things from your perspective. God was aware before you were that you can sever or “pinch yourself off” from the stream of receiving.  I love what comedian Mark Lowery says about God’s knowledge: “Does it ever occur to you that nothing occurs to God?” He has a solution.

So why do you need forgiveness? Because you have a conscience and you know right from wrong. And because you are spirit traveling around in the flesh you’re going to trespass occasionally. A very expensive sacrifice was made on your behalf to clear the way for you to accept the blessings intended for you.

Accept it and get on with your life.

Want to study the entire prayer? Go to


Published in: on November 12, 2009 at 10:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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…and forgive us our (debts, trespasses, etc)

How odd it is that there should be a choice, as it were, to either “debt” or “trespass.” It appears from several sources that the notion of debt is what the speaker of these words was actually addressing that day. It appears that instead of teaching on the things believers should not do, he was reminding them about what they should do. So to the extent that they were not doing the good things in life, they were not giving to the creator what was owed. This was the debt: to do good as an offering of thanksgiving. For committing this sin of omission, we ask forgiveness.

The other interpretation is equally valid. Trespassing has a similar meaning as sin. The idea is that of missing the mark; an easy to understand term from archery, sailing, or navigation in general. To trespass is to get off your path onto something else. In this case “forgive” is better followed by “restore.” “Restore us to the true path as we help restore others to it,” or “Forgive our missing the mark, now restore our aim!”

What is that true path? That path of experiencing providence, abundance, love, supply, restoration. Yes, we all crave the forgiveness for disobedience, but having gained that, we need daily restoration to a right mind and right way of thinking and feeling.

An easy to use  e-workbook is available to craft your own prayer based on the model prayer. See it at :

Published in: on May 15, 2009 at 7:35 am  Comments Off on …and forgive us our (debts, trespasses, etc)  
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