AFReG Call to Prayer
The African Forum on Religion and Government (AFReG) calls on all Christians to increase our prayers as a faith community dialoguing on “African Identity, Dignity and Justice in the 21st Century.” This Tuesday, September 1, 2020, our theme is “Forgiveness.”
Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious and deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance towards a person or group who have hurt or harmed us in some way. This is regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.
The Bible has a lot to say about forgiveness. The Greek word translated as “forgive” in the New Testament – aphiē – carries a wide range of meanings. They include to remit (a debt), to leave (something or someone) alone, to allow (an action), to leave, to send away, to desert or abandon, also to divorce. Giving up your right to hurt you, because you hurt me.
Many things happen in our life that cause each one of us to need forgiveness, and to forgive others. It is impossible to live on this earth without being hurt, misunderstood, offended, have lies told about you, or lied to and rejected. We forgive not because someone deserves it, but it is an act of love, mercy and grace.
In forgiving, we wipe the slate clean, we cancel the debt, we pardon. When we hurt someone, we seek his or her forgiveness so we can restore a relationship.
In Ephesians 4:32 – we are instructed by God to forgive as we have been forgiven by God. (NLT) “Instead, be kind to each other, tender hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
When we say the Lord’s Prayer, in Matthew 6:12, we say: “And forgive our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Verses 14-15 explains why: “For if you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your heavenly Father will not forgive your transgressions.” This is one of the scariest things in the Bible. Who can live this life without messing up in some way and therefore needing forgiveness or to forgive?
Jesus died on the cross for the sins of whole world. It is each person’s choice as to whether he/she comes to Him to repent, confess their sins and receive His forgiveness. God gives all of us the ability to choose. We don’t have to ask for forgiveness, but in order to receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we must put our faith in His death and resurrection. John 3:17-18 tells us:
For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Dear family of God, friend, family member, make/find your peace with God and each other as you practice forgiveness for others and seek it for yourself. Equally, as Christ has forgiven you, learn to forgive yourself about any particular sin(s) you have committed – change!
Dear God, I ask for your forgiveness where I have offended and failed to seek forgiveness and where I have been offended and withheld forgiveness.
From the heart, I forgive all who have offended me and choose to obey God in setting them free from any debt.
As Africans in the diaspora and on the continent of Africa, we may carry the pain of many injustices meted out to us because of the colour of our skin. By the grace of God we have been given, we choose to release everyone who has intentionally or unintentionally caused us injury or offence. We are set free from the fear of racism fully assured that His spirit in us is one of power, love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). We know that no weapon fashioned against us will prosper (Isaiah 54:17). By the gift of righteousness and abundance of grace we declare that we reign in life through Christ Jesus (Romans 5:17).
We pray concerning our second Webinar in the series of African Identity, Dignity and Justice focusing on the ‘Realities of our Past’. Draw many to engage in this important conversation and come away with life changing lessons. We pray for a rich anointing upon the panelists; Dr. Patricia Ann Newton, Dr. Alexander Chisango and Rev. Dr. Setri Nyomi as they lead the discussion and for Dr. and Mrs. Daryl Jones as they moderate the session. We pray against any technological difficulties, for clarity and good flow and especially with the translators. Thank you Lord for granting our request.