Night after night, Linda was beaten by her father when he came home from the pub in a drunken rage. It filled her with fear, hatred and unforgiveness. She got a job early in life and left home.
Whilst most physical scars heal quickly, emotional scars can last a lifetime. They can keep you stuck in the pain of the past and cost you valuable relationships, stealing your peace and joy. Are you someone who has had an experience like Linda? There is hope for you too.
Linda found faith and decided to forgive her dad and start praying for him. That's when she started to become spiritually and emotionally whole. She continued praying until her old memories no longer held her prisoner. Jesus said, "Pray for those who spitefully use you." (Luke 6:28)
The word "spiteful" implies you did nothing to cause or deserve it, that your offender hurt you for reasons you may never understand.
That's why Jesus prayed on the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." (Luke 23:34 NKJV) That doesn't let your offender off the hook.
They will live with the guilt of what they did, and unless they turn to God for forgiveness, they'll have no peace. But you will have peace! When you decide to forgive someone, you take back your power and reclaim your life.
Jesus taught the disciples the Lord's Prayer because he knew it was good for their well being. "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name" - honour God first in your life and everything else falls into place, "your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven"- God's plans are always best because he loves us so much.
"Give us this day our daily bread"- we all need food to stay healthy physically, "and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us"through Christ's death God forgave us all our wrongs, and by forgiving others, we are released from the bondage of unforgiveness and have mental and spiritual peace. "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from all evil" - temptation has destroyed marriages and landed people in prison.
"For Yours is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen" - God is still in control of this world. He alone has the ultimate power over our life and the universe.
Pam Sammut Pastor Tenterfield Community Church