The reading is taken from
Mark Chapter 11, verses 12-14 & 25-26
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit.
When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.
Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.
And then from verse 20 to 26
In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus,
"Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!"
"Have faith in God," Jesus answered.
"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain,
'Go, throw yourself into the sea,'
and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen,
it will be done for him.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer,
believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
Verse 26 - some bibles miss out this verse, you can find it as a footnote in the NIV.
But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your sins.
= = =
When I first became a christian, I found it easy to pray the Lord's Prayer. Had I forgiven people? Yes, I forgave them with all my might in my heart.
But somehow, as I left the service, as I left the foot of the cross, I seemed to pick up that sack full of hurt and pride and stagger on with my life.
Over the years this has troubled me again and again. However hard I try to let go, there are certain things I find hard to release.
Being a christian isn't just as easy as reading out a prayer, joining in with others, doing churchy type activities. When we hand our lives over to Jesus, that includes our wants, needs, prejudices, pride and so many things that go to make up our sinful selves.
Then we've got to allow God to work through us in our lives - without claiming back our wants, needs, prejudices, pride and so on.
Verse 25 "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
Verse 26 - "But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your sins.
We must forgive the debt we feel they owe us - we must 'tear up the IOU'.
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