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Why Pray for Forgiveness?

Jesus teaches us to pray to the Father:  "Forgive us our sins". But why should we continue to ask the Father for forgiveness, when we know all are sins are forgiven through Jesus' death on the Cross?  We know that He has forgiven us -- but in our humanness we still feel the need of forgiveness.  We need more than verbal assurance -- we need the tangible experience.  Therefore, we may continue to ask Him for forgiveness, just as the Lord taught us to, and He does not chide us or rebuke us for our inattentiveness or slowness of heart.   Asking for forgiveness is an expression of our contrition of heart, which certainly pleases Him.

Similarly, we continue to ask Him to meet our material needs, though He has assured us that we donít need to be concerned about these things, that He will certainly care for us.  But through our petitions in prayer, we speak into being on earth that which  has already been ordained in the heavens.  In the beginning He spoke the worlds into existence, and through His word order and beauty emerged from the  formless void:   in the same way, now He is speaking His kingdom into existence on this earth  through the words which He has laid upon our hearts, and as we speak  His order  and beauty are brought forth into our chaotic world.

Jesus Himself asked of the Father when He already knew that the answer.  Though he knew that His Father willed Him to die on the Cross, still He asked the Father to spare Him this fate.  One of the most comforting aspects of prayer is, we may express our human fears and reservations without fear of Godís displeasure  -- for He delights to comfort us and relieve us of  our anxieties.

Prayer:   Father, thank You for your promise of forgiveness.  Thank You for reassuring us, and not condemning us for our human frailty.

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Copyright © 2002 CrossPollen
Last Revised: November 15, 2002

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