Forgiving the outrageous

We live in what some have called out “Outrage Culture”.  Our media, our friends and family, and the enemy himself, all conspire to encourage us to be injured so easily and to develop grudges so quickly.  Perhaps it has ever been thus, but it seems as if we in the church are in danger of losing the tender-heartedness and clear-mindedness which we need in order to pray.  As if to anticipate our need, Jesus teaches us how to pray even in an Outrage Culture:  And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them… (Mark 11:25).  There’s something about praying that doesn’t jive well with outrage and unforgiveness.  Perhaps we should make it a routine that whenever we stand to pray, we should do an outrage check in order to see if there’s someone or something we need to forgive.  It may well be that we will better hear the Great Prayer of Jesus at the Right Hand of the Father, and that the prayers of forgiven, forgiving, and righteous people will be powerful in their effect (James 5:16).

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