“Lord God, give me more grace (James 4:6) so that I may increasingly extend it to others.”
I need you.
I need you every hour.
There isn’t a moment that goes by that I am not in need of you and your grace. Even when I turn from you in ignorance and sin, I still need you then, whether I realize it or not. My need for you remains. Help me to grasp the reality that even though I’ve done NOTHING to deserve your grace and your forgiveness, all I need to do is ask for it (1 John 1:9), and you freely give it. Remind me of that promise when I’m tempted to withhold grace and to harbor bitterness in my heart instead of extending forgiveness.
Lord, you know that I’ve been hurt, offended, disappointed, rejected, used, abused, mistreated, lied to, betrayed, and dismissed, but so have you. There isn’t a single struggle that I face that you have not already endured, and yet you still choose to offer forgiveness and grace to those who come to you seeking after it, to the very ones that have wronged you…to me. Help me to imitate your behavior, Lord. When I’m frustrated and angry, when I’m wallowing in self-pity and resentment, help me to look to your face and to remember all that you went through on my behalf. In my willingness to remember what you went through, swell my heart with a willingness to forgive.
I don’t want to withhold forgiveness any longer. It only destroys my soul. I don’t want to be bitter and resentful any longer. Those emotions are damaging and continue to lead me further from your embrace. I don’t want to withhold grace from others. Because I am so desperately in need of your grace, help me to see that others are, too. Help me to be a conduit of your love, grace, and forgiveness. When people look at me, help them to see you.
Each time I choose to forgive, a heavy weight is lifted off of my shoulders.
I don’t want to be burdened by the weight of unforgiveness anymore. I release it all to you. Will your grace ever run out on me? No, it won’t. So, help me to never refuse grace to someone else. Forgive me for excusing this sin away in my life with the notion that “they don’t deserve my forgiveness; they don’t deserve my grace.” How dare I say that they are undeserving when I am just as undeserving of grace. Transform my mind and give me the mind of Christ, so that when I’m given an opportunity to forgive, I would respond as you would, Jesus.
When I feel powerless and defeated in this, Lord, forgive through me.
Help me to recognize that any and all obedience in my life is the work of the Holy Spirit in me, not my own strength. Teach me to lean on you and to lean into you that much more when I find myself struggling to forgive. I want to be more like you, Jesus. I want to live a life of love. I want to have joy and to know peace.
Lord, help me to forgive.
i don’t know if you can answer my question, but here goes. my boyfriend and i have lived together for just over 2 years. he now says we are sinning by sleeping together..even though we do not have sex anymore. i feel in my heart we aren’t sinning because i truly feel him in my heart and want nobody else. Do you really have to be married?
Cherie Wagner says
I apologize for my delay in responding to your comment. Thanks for your honest question. My first response to your question would be a question of my own: You and your boyfriend have been living together for two years. Why haven’t you married yet? What is keeping you both from moving forward in your relationship? Is he a Christian? Are you? You said that he is the one for you and there is no one else. Does he feel the same? If so, what has kept you both from making this relationship right in God’s eyes by uniting as one in the Lord? To your question, “Do you really have to be married?”, I would offer you Romans 13:14.
“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (ESV)
“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (NIV)
The principle that this verse (in both of its versions) is giving to us as believers in Christ is to remove the opportunity to fail or to stumble into temptation. If we are really trying to walk in obedience to God’s Word, to resist temptation, and to live holy lives that are pleasing to God, why would we play with fire? Why would we get as close to the flame of temptation as possible thinking that we won’t get burned? It is neither wise nor obedient to be “out on the edge” morally speaking. The Bible teaches us again and again to flee from the temptations of sin, not to stand in the face of it trying to be stronger than the temptation. I would encourage you to read through Ephesians 5:1-14, and begin to pray about this issue. As Christians, we are called to be light in this dark world. What that means is that our lives should look MUCH different than those who do not claim faith in Jesus Christ. If they don’t look any different, perhaps they aren’t. We are called to imitate the example of Jesus Christ, not called to blend into our surroundings.
Let’s keep this dialogue going. What are your thoughts? What scriptures have you been able to find that would support your current living situation? I’m praying for you that in this search of truth, you find yourself in the presence of Jesus Christ.