Today starts a new day; I realize that I have been abused by religion. It took me through Day 8, 9 before I realized this, but I am glad I did. You can go back to see my comments on Day 8 and 9 to see what I am speaking of. I am taking the time to do the exercises as outlined in the book; Recovering From Religious Abuse, 11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom written by: Jack Watts. While I know that hurt and abuse as described and presented in the book are two different things, I have come to the understanding that in regards to taking advantage of me I have in fact been abused. I will admit, one of my greatest concerns is I may have at times abused religion. I don’t think I have but this journey will help me understand where I am at and in the process help others as I journal each day with the steps outlined in the book.
Today I pray for those who have done me, and/or others wrong.
Father I ask first and foremost that my prayer does not appear to be a self-righteous or pious prayer. I realize my own sins, my failures, abuses and inappropriate treatments, thoughts, and actions towards others. I am no better than those I pray for.
Today Father I ask that you help me see and have mercy on those who have done me and others wrong. I realize that something has occurred in their lives that have caused them to see others the way they do. Whatever it is that has for some, driven them away from your loving ways, heal, touch and bring a fresh memory of what you did for them. Father, I ask that for me, and those reading this prayer today that know you, that you would keep your love, your mercy, and your grace real and fresh in our lives. Help us realize that we are all individuals who have been born into sin, and in reality are no more deserving of your grace than the next person, yet, you love us.
Father, I ask that you will keep fresh in my mind the reason I need your grace, but in keeping that memory alive, I ask that I not lose site of your desire to draw people to you through your love, grace, mercy and compassion. Just as I can’t get dogs to come to me when yelling at them, I don’t think many will be drawn to you when being yelled at or abused. Help us all be the witnesses you want us to.
Lord over the years there are those who have done me wrong in many ways, I know that, you know that. I ask that I will have a better understanding of their reasoning, not to judge them, but so I can better share love with them, and better understand their own pain. Help me be a witness to your ways, your will, and your mercy. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
A passage for us all to think about as we pray for those who have done us wrong.
Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer” “I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner and like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.”
But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow saying, “O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.” I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. ~ Luke 18: 10-14
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