SOUTHERN BAPTIST’S DAY OF PRAYER: Restore Your Broken Relationships

“I am in them and You are in Me. May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me” (John 17:23, HCSB).

The night before Jesus went to the cross, He prayed for our unity: “I am in them and You are in Me. May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me” (John 17:23, HCSB). Our unity is the most convincing evidence to the lost world that Jesus is the Savior sent from God. And our disunity is probably the greatest hindrance in leading others to faith in Christ. If you have broken relationships with others, you must be reconciled. Consecrate yourself and reconcile your broken relationships.

❍ On a separate sheet of paper, list the names of people with whom you   have broken relationships. This would include those you have offended   without seeking forgiveness and those who have offended you. Offenses   can occur as a result of actions, words, or attitudes. Ask God to bring to   mind all those you need to consider.

Your relationship with others has a direct correlation to your relationship with God. Jesus said:

If you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your  brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your  gift (Matthew 5:23-24, HCSB).

Your offerings and even your worship are unacceptable to God if you have caused offenses and have not reconciled. If you are the offender:

1.  Pray and ask God for help in thorough repentance.

2.  Go to make things right in obedience to God.

3.  Confess your sin to God and to those directly affected by the sin.

4.  Don’t apologize. Ask for forgiveness.

5.  Go in person if at all possible. Talk face-to-face.

6.  Don’t reflect negatively on the other person or his actions or attitudes. Deal only  with your part of the offense.

7.  Make restitution (pay for the offense) when appropriate.

8.  If you don’t receive a positive response, continue to pray for and seek  reconciliation with the unforgiving person.

If you are the one who has been offended, Jesus has instructions for you also. He said, “Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing” (Mark 11:25, HCSB). Holding on to unforgiveness limits the way God will forgive you and hinders your prayers. You need to understand and practice forgiveness.

1.  Forgiveness is fully releasing another from the debt of the offense.

2.  Forgiveness is a command, not an option: “Forgive whatever grievances you  may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians  3:13, NIV).

3.  You cannot forgive and love in your own strength. The Holy Spirit of Christ can  enable you to forgive and love. Ask Him for help.

4.  Forgiveness is a choice of your will, not the result of a feeling. You must choose  to forgive.

5.  The person who forgives is the one who has to pay the price of forgiveness.  Jesus paid the price for you.

6.  You are never more like Jesus than when you forgive and show grace and mercy.  Being offended provides you with the invitation to reveal Christ to the offender by  your forgiveness.

7.  Forgiveness does not mean the offense was not wrong.

8.  Forgiveness is not permission for the offender to do it again.

9.  Forgiveness does not mean you will fully forget. You choose not to hold the  offense against the person any longer. If the memories return and you start to  hold on to the offense again, forgive again.

10.   How much do you forgive? Seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22). In other  words, forgive an unlimited number of times.

11.   Jesus said, “If [your brother] sins against you seven times in a day, and comes  back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him” (Luke 17:4,  HCSB). In other words, even if the offender really doesn’t repent and change his  ways, you still forgive.

12.   Even if the person doesn’t believe he is wrong, forgive. Jesus set the model for  us on the cross when He prayed for those who were killing Him: “Father, forgive  them” (Luke 23:34, HCSB).

13.   In Mark 11:25 Jesus didn’t require you to go to the person to forgive. You can do  that as you pray.

❋ APPLY these guidelines to the relationships you listed earlier.

❋ PRAY and ask God to guide and enable you to forgive and reconcile every broken relationship in a way that brings Him glory and brings you freedom and joy. Walk in unity.

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1. Adapted from Claude King, Come to the Lord’s Table (Nashville: LifeWay Press, 2006), 69–73. I’ve been greatly influenced in the matters of reconciliation and forgiveness by Life Action Ministries; P.O. Box 31; Buchanan, MI 49107-0031; www.lifeaction.org.

Author: Pastor Don

Don Walton is our Senior Pastor. He leads our congregation through biblical and relevant messages every week. Each week you can hear his Sunday sermon on our website or listen to past sermons on our website’s “Weekly Sermons” page. Don also writes many of our Daily Devotions and has written a number of books and booklets to help you grow in your Christian faith.

Don is the founder and director of Time For Truth Ministries, a ministry dedicated to educating the church about end time lies and equipping it to combat them with the truths of God’s Word. Visit the Time For Truth network of websites for additional information and for resources that will both edify and enlighten you.

(1) Time For Truth Ministries Website

(2) Blog & May Blog Website

(3) Nothing But The Bible Website