Today’s Reading: Acts 3:11-26
Today’s Reference: Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Was this prayer answered? We must realize that this was not a blanket prayer for everyone involved in Christ’s crucifixion; not everyone who participated in this crime was forgiven. But Jesus foreknew that many of those who put Him to death would indeed later repent, and He prayed God would let His blood cover their sin. God forgives those who ask. Yes, the prayer was answered for those for whom it was intended.
You and I don’t know which of our enemies will repent. But we’re called to pray for all who hurt us, even those who don’t ask for our forgiveness. Maybe our prayers will be part of their salvation story. In the meantime, we free ourselves from the pain of their attacks by surrendering the matter to God. Remember, forgiveness doesn’t have to mean reconciliation. Sometimes it just means letting go.
What old emotional injury are you carrying today from someone who hurt you and never asked forgiveness? Will you give that pain to God and let Him heal the wound? Jesus did not die bitter, and neither should we.
Father, I’ve been carrying this pain around so long and I don’t want it any more. Help me forgive the person who hurt me. Cleanse my heart from angry, bitter thoughts, so that I can better focus on You.
In Jesus’ name, amen.