Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit

16
Jun
08

Becoming a man of prayer – experiencing forgiveness (ch. 8)

“Many people handle guilt by repressing or internalizing it…others attempt reeducation…some seek to atone for their guilt by becoming religious…some men and women deal with guilt by punishing themselves…The problem with all of these solutions is the same, they don’t work! There is only one effective solution for true moral guilt. That solution is now accessible through prayer.”

In this chapter the author deals with the phrase ‘Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors’ (Mt 6:12). He suggests four stages in order to receive and to offer forgiveness.

First, we need to get honest with God and ask the Holy Spirit to show us concrete sins that we need to confess. Beltz in his prayer notebook has also made a list of character flaws so that he is regularly prompted to pray about these as well. Stage two is agreeing with what the Holy Spirit has shown us and confessing that before God in prayer, giving thanks for the forgiveness that is available to us because of Jesus’ atoning work. Sometimes there is benefit is confessing our sin before another believer (see James 5:16). Thirdly, we seek the power of God to change the defects of our character and the behaviour patterns that are not pleasing to God. Finally we check our attitudes. We need to willfully decide to extend forgiveness to those that have wronged us. This needs to be an ongoing choice so that negative emotions do not embitter us. When we have wronged others we need to attempt to make things right through asking for forgiveness from the one we have wronged and seeking to restore what our sin has damaged.

I have experienced challenges in each of these phases. Sometimes I just want to accept my flaws. Other times I mistakenly try to earn my forgiveness. For sure, it was good to be reminded to persist in choosing to forgive another so that the emotional fall-out has time to heal.

Click here for this week’s assignment.

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12
May
08

Becoming a man of prayer – Getting Started (ch.3)

//farm3.static.flickr.com/2184/2130975956_0422b287eb_o.jpgFor many men, including Beltz, their relationship with their earthly father is far from perfect, yet it is the father-child relationship that Jesus envisions in the Lord’s Prayer. Entering into this mindset for prayer is a challenge, that is why the author suggests that first we acknowledge our inability to pray and ask that the Holy Spirit would empower us to pray and to keep from being distracted.

Addressing God as ‘father’ or with ‘Abba’ (which means daddy, see Ro 8:12-17) underscores the close relationship we have with God. By doing so we consciously enter into God’s presence as the ‘Daddy in heaven who is perfect, loving, interested, involve, gentle, present, available, concerned, kind, wise, caring and good [Beltz, 31]. This spiritual positioning sets us up for sensing God’s loving touch in our lives and gets us ready to focus on God’s agenda in prayer.

How do you presently relate to the Fatherhood of God?

This week’s prayer strategy deals with growing in entering the presence of God the Father. Click here to download the assignment.

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