I’m still working through my checklist of simple words which cause us to revisit the basics of prayer.
This month, I’m focused on ‘Sorry’ prayers. I think this subject is quite difficult. The first problem is that it is a very intimate subject. It is pretty astonishing that we can have a close enough relationship with the Creator of all things that it makes any sense to say sorry – to share such intimate emotions.
It can be cathartic to get together amongst trusted friends and admit where we’ve gone wrong. It works for Alcoholics Anonymous and at times it has been a powerful spiritual discipline. But it probably doesn’t work for a Minister’s letter!
My other concern with ‘Sorry’ prayers is that I frequently visit people who are filled with remorse: people who feel that they’ve not been good enough and in some strange sense have let God down. When that happens I’m a bit sad that I need to remind them how wonderful is our Gospel Good News in Jesus. Of course, we never are good enough. It isn’t our ‘works’ that save us, there are no actions of love, generosity or sacrificial caring that make us worthy of God’s love. Yet, far more importantly, it is our faith that saves us.
We do need to say sorry, we do sometimes need to say it aloud in front of trusted friends, indeed sometimes ministers need to say sorry very publicly to their congregation, or on their congregation’s behalf…
But we also need to know that God listens to that prayer, hears our sadness and brings us healing and forgiveness.
May God bless you, whether you are burdened by guilt or indifferent to the wrongs you have done. Whether your failings are minor or major keep on with your spiritual journey toward Holiness. Go loves you.