Prayer and forgiveness

I really wanted to focus my prayers yesterday, Wednesday fast day, on someone I know who was recently diagnosed with cancer, but, whenever my brain wanted to go there, it was obscured by some resentment I held against a brother in the Lord. I was irritated, not just over the things he did, but that those things which were waters under the bridge, old water, were robbing me of brain cycles on the person I wanted to intercede for. I got pretty bummed out by the end of the day. I already know I'm not a prayer giant but more of a prayer pixie. I also was disappointed that this old stuff still chafes my heart. I thought I had worked through it all by the end of the day, but Jesus spoke to me this morning in my reading in the Gospel of Mark.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:24-25

That little phrase "whenever you stand praying, forgive" gave me a big shout out this morning over my cereal bowl. If I understand the Greek grammar right, the "whenever" applies to the standing and the forgiving, praying is the participle in the sentence, standing and forgiving are the actions. What I'm getting is my prayer was interrupted yesterday by unforgiveness, and God's Holy Spirit was kind enough to keep bringing it up in my mind, so I could let it go. That means, in hindsight, God and I were communing, I just wasn't realizing it. That's typical. He really set me up though for this morning's passage.


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