Dying man’s Daily Journal – Lord’s Prayer – Forgiveness


As I was saying my prayers last night a thought hit me. Something has happened and I am not even sure when. Now when I think of it, it is actually kind of sad in one way but wonderful in another.

The Lord’s Prayer is but a part of my nightly prayers. Now I am not a Biblical scholar but I would thing it is fair to say that the Lord’s Prayer is one of the most important prayers in the Christian faith. Now I am woefully lacking in knowledge of the other great Faiths but I would imagine they have a similar prayer or prayers with similar wording. I would appreciate it if followers of other faiths inform me of this. 

The Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father, which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
[For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.]
Amen.

Over the years I have said that prayer thousands of times. I take prayer seriously as I imagine do all. A while back a bit of a startling revelation hit me. I had said this prayer so very many times, it had become habit for me to mumble the words without any thought to it. It had become just part of the routine I go through on a daily basis. Mumbling the words because that is what I am supposed to do.

Now, it also came to me a while back that the Good Lord, in His wisdom is granting me extra time on this earth. Why I do not know, but will gratefully accept and treasure each and every moment.

Once I got over the initial shock of what the doctors had told me. I decided to use this time to do my best to prepare myself mentally, emotionally and spiritually for what I know lies ahead. As I did this and searched within myself, I realized it was and is important for me to leave this world with what I call a clear heart. For me that partially means a heart free of any anger, bitterness, any misgiving towards others. There is also the flip aside to that coin but I will get into that another time (seeking forgiveness). I wanted, I needed to let go of negative feelings I held in my mind and heart. As I took a deep personal inventory of my life, I realized I harbored many resentments, ill will and some general feelings of misgivings towards some others. I badly wanted to let these feelings go. I worked at it and was able to make some progress. I guess I got to the point where I was able to think, “OK, I forgive you but it was still a pretty “nasty” thing you did and I still think you are a jerk.” Now I suppose that was progress, but not really or at least it wasn’t the heart clearing kind.

One day a few years back, I was saying the Lord’s Prayer, and I suppose actually paying attention that particular day to what I was praying for.  There are 2 lines in the prayer that made me sit up and pay attention as I was saying them.

“And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us.”

It was a light bulb came on as I realized what I was asking in my prayer. The very same prayer I had already prayed thousands of times. In Bill language, I was praying asking to be forgiven of my sins, in the same manner I was forgiving others here on this earth. I thought of that and realized, Oh geesh, this can’t be good, not with all this negativity and ill will I am carrying in my heart. I renewed my heart clearing efforts with more effort than ever before. I struggled and it even reached the point where I actually dropped that on line our of my prayers: As I forgive those that trespass against me. If I am unable to forgive others then, how in the world can I be praying for God to forgive me in that same way. That made no sense at all.

The separate the deed from the doer idea is one I have had for a long time, but really never understood it enough to put it into practice. I mean if someone does you a “nasty” it is their responsibility surely. Some how, I began though to put that together with my “Bill Statics” 90% of people are just regular good people, 5% are Earth Angels and 5% are jerks. Most importantly for me, I realized there are no real clear and permanent divisions between these groups. We are all constantly drifting back and forth between these groups. Yes, I am sure or at least I hope trying our best to avoid the jerk category. But, we are human and depending on the event, circumstance or what ever will find ourselves in the jerk category. It seems the real trick is to not allow ourselves to stay there. Yes, I have and do spend my share maybe even more than my share of time in the “jerk” category.

I am struggling to find the words for this. I have always believed in the overall goodness and kindness within all people but know we each have our moments out of the sun shall we say. We each have our own battles within our own lives. We each react to a situation or circumstance in our own way depending on where we are in our day or even in our lives. We are doing our best to deal with the struggles we face. In the past I know there have been situations or events where others acted or reacted in a way different from what I wanted or maybe expected. It is that action or reaction that hurt or offended me. Possibly he/she was having their moment in the jerk zone, or possibly it was me being there.

Forgiveness is not for others, it is for ourselves. To clear our hearts to enable us to live our lives to the fullest. To forgive another does not mean you have to invite the person back into your life or even have anything to do with them going forward. Forgiveness is letting go of destructive negativity, clear our hearts, living the good life.

A question to all that regularly say the Lord’s Prayer. What are your thoughts on this. A question to those of other faiths, what do you think of this?

My revelation last night. Somewhere along the line, I have reinserted the as I forgive line. Obviously back to the saying it without appropriate thought, have to really work on that.

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9 Responses to Dying man’s Daily Journal – Lord’s Prayer – Forgiveness

  1. Jaymie says:

    I agree with you completely. So why is it so hard?

    Hi Jaymie, that is an excellent question. One that I wish I had the answer to.

  2. Cat says:

    I have had those same revelations before, myself — both about just reciting the prayer without really paying attention to it, and about it being hypocritical of me to ask forgiveness if I am unwilling to forgive others. These are both things that I try to keep myself in line on — if I am praying and realize halfway through that I haven’t been paying attention to the words, I will start over. And I always try to really focus on the line, “as we forgive those who trespass against us” and really mean it. Some days it is easier than others. 🙂

    Hi Cat, I don’t think we are alone in mumbling our way through some familiar prayers. Good for you in the starting over. Do you ever have a point when you say it is easier some days than others. I guess we just keep trying doing the best we can day by day.

  3. Slamdunk says:

    Good post. It is easy for me as well to mumble through that all important prayer. Thanks for the excellent example of why I am missing opportunities when I do that.

    Hi Slamdunk. Isn’t it actually surprising,if we really think about it, how easy it is to do and how often we do it.

  4. Henri says:

    Hi Bill, There are so many different faiths, beliefs and prayers out there. It got me to wonder about the ‘other’ prayers. We all agree that there is only one God.(with many names) Here is my Prayer. A native one.
    We call God, in Cree, Kiche Manito (Great Spirit):

    Great Spirit
    Who’s voice I hear in the winds
    Who’s breath gives life to all living things
    Hear me, I come before you, one of your Children
    I am small and weak, I ask for strength and wisdom.
    Strength, not to be superior to my brothers but, to fight my greatest enemy.
    Myself.
    Wisdom, so that I may understand the lessons you have hidden underneath every leaf and rock
    May my hands respect the things you have made, my ears, sharp to hear your voice.
    May I walk in beauty and ever behold the red and purple sunsets.
    So that when my life fades like the setting sun, my spirit may come to you,… Without Shame.

    I was wondering if any of your readers have Prayers that they say according to their faith.

    Hi Henri, this is truly beautiful. I thank you so very much for sharing it with us. I also wonder if and do hope that others may be willing to share their prayers

    Thanks again
    Bill

    • Marian says:

      Henri I truly love your prayer so much, brought tears to my eyes on the beauty within this prayer of your!!

      I hope you dont mind but I have copied it to recite myself!

      Thank you so much for sharing it!!

      Kind regards

      Marian

  5. Mel says:

    One that I say regularly “comfort me when I am disturbed and disturb me when I am comfortable”…I have this ‘working relationship’ with my Maker. LOL Sometimes that’s a one liner that I wanna take back–but there ya have it.

    There’s not many prayers I whiz through without thought–and the line you dropped off was one I dropped off for a period of time. Like you, I didn’t much wanna be forgiven as I was forgiving others…cuz it wasn’t exactly ‘forgiveness’. And I’ve learned to look up and wince when I say “I know–be careful what I ask for…..”

    Funny, the transformations that happen ‘when the penny drops’. It’s a good thing, methinks. One that serves the relationship well.

    ((((((( Bill )))))))

    Ohhhhh…and I really like Henri’s prayer. There’s some good stuff in that one!

    Hi Mel, I really like that line: “comfort me when I am disturbed and disturb me when I am comfortable”. Disturb me when I am comfortable lest I grow complacent and start taking things for granted, I do like that, thanks for sharing it.
    Your line about being careful what you ask for, now isn’t that the truth.
    THank you my friend
    Bill

  6. laura taylor says:

    Those two sentences in the “Lord’s Prayer” are always something I think about when I say it. Mostly because I have a terrible time forgiving… and since I do, I don’t understand how people forgive me.

    Forgiveness is so elusive. I have been told that holding on to anger only hurts ourselves. Well, maybe, but it does hurt me when someone is angry with me and won’t forgive me, yet I hold on to my anger like a life line.

    BTW, thank you for your wonderful postings and for sharing such profound thoughts with all of us.

    Hi Laura, welcome to the blog and thank you for leaving your comment. Ah, forgiveness such a difficult to be able to do at times. I popped over to your blog and after reading your post, I can understand how you could be struggling with it. This whole forgiveness issue is one I have struggled with seemingly forever. What you are dealing with at this time is still so fresh in your mind, you are dealing with the whole grieving process and that takes time. Your feelings are your feelings and it is OK to have them at this time. Give yourself some time to work through the process.
    We all know it is true, we forgive not for the benefit of others but for our own benefit, I know, easy to say but so hard to do.
    I invite you to continue to post your thoughts and feelings here on the blog. You will find much loving support from the community that has be come establish here.
    You are in my heart and prayers.
    Bill

  7. Katherine says:

    Hi Bill
    I discovered your blog late last night and what a gem it is. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wonders with us all.
    I have only in the last two months or so discovered the miracle of forgiveness, forgiving myself and accepting forgiveness. When I was younger I did something so terrible I never told anyone and since then it has hung over me like a dark cloud. Like someone else has already said, because I couldn’t forgive (myself) I couldn’t believe that God or anyone else could forgive me either. I realized this secret would consume me if I let it so last month meet with a leader at my church and told her what I had done. We prayed together and I told God what I’d done and I finally asked for and accepted his forgiveness.
    I looked in the mirror this week and for the first time in years I saw someone beautiful looking back at me. Someone I can now love because what I did has gone.

    I think forgiveness is one of the greatest miracles.

    God bless you Bill. I will be seeing your blog again!

  8. Marian says:

    Hi Bill

    Thank you so much for sharing your blog
    I’ve also been guilty of saying prayers without it coming from my heart.

    A wise woman once told me, instead of having to say the prayer, make it your own. Meaning that for every line of any prayer, make it your own, its only when we apply the prayer does it then come from our hearts / souls.

    I have a prayer I recite on a daily basis, one that has been a struggle for me to live but one of my greatest lessons. Its a prayer from Saint Francis of Acici:

    Lord God Heavenly father
    Please make me an instument of your peace

    Where there is hatred let me sow love
    Where there is injury, pardon
    Where there is doubt, faith

    Where there is despair, hope
    Where there is darkness, light
    & where there is sadness, joy.

    Oh divine Master most kind, most forgiving, most merciful
    Please grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as TO console (comfort)
    Grant that I may not so much seek to be understood as TO understand
    Grant that I many not so much seek to be loved, as TO love

    For it is in the giving that we recieve
    Its is in the pardoning that we are pardoned (forgiven)

    And it is dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

    For every line I ask Gods help & strength to help me to live these words that I pray & make them my own.

    Thanx again
    Kind regards

    Marian

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