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Living Frank’s Prayer, Part Three

January 9, 2012

Back to the prayer attributed to St. Francis:

Where there is injury,

(let me sow) pardon.

Let’s say you and I have been hurt by somebody.

Probably not a big stretch to imagine that; I sure just  pictured someone.

So can you.

How many times do we have to forgive that particular somebody?

“Seventy times seven,” said Christ Jesus in Matthew 18:22.

That’s a lot.

That’s 490 times.

So if I keep track of the number of times, and actually make it to somewhere in the four hundreds, I can start planning my revenge for after Number 490?

Nope.

Jesus and St. Francis are on the same page.  And I admit there are times I’d like to rip that page out of the book.

Jesus was using what was considered The Number of Perfection and taking it to an unimaginable extreme when he said, “70 x 7.”   Today we’d say something like “Seven times Infinity” or “Seven pumped up exponentially.”

And this line from that prayer echoes that: it just talks about behavior.  For the present, today, right now.

It says we’re to be about the business of forgiveness.

This is intense.  This sounds impossible.

Let’s remember that this is a prayer.  To  God.

It’s a request.  For help.  From God.

To pray this prayer is to acknowledge that we can’t do this whole Pardon and Forgiveness stuff by ourselves.

At least that’s true for me.

What about you?

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4 Comments
  1. Janet permalink

    Amen! Only through Him is it possible.

    Like

  2. Katie Holt permalink

    This was so good for me to read today. I can feel his calling me back temporarily to the church I left a year ago to stay home full time with my boys. But it’s also the church that caused me great pain, the church that had me saying multiple times ‘once I leave here I’ll never step foot in a church again.’ Well, now I’m preaching at this church at the end of the month, one of my first Sundays back. And I’ve decided to preach on forgiveness…and preach what I need practice doing – and lord knows I need all his help to begin practicing that which will ultimately free me from the negative feelings and date I say hatred towards some of these people. So thanks for the great read and thoughts at a needed time!

    Like

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