Then Peter came to him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” (Matthew 18:21)
Lord, the Episcopal Church is awash in unforgiving sin; have mercy on us.
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:22)
Jesus, we are not even making it up to seven times!
“Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.” (Matthew 18:23-27)
Jesus, thank you for covering my debt by your blood shed on the cross. I could never pay the full debt of my sins and you paid it all. Thank you.
“But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.” (Matthew 18:28-30)
Jesus, I am no better than this unforgiving servant whenever I hold onto a grudge or resentment; have mercy on me.
“So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?'” (Matthew 18:31-33)
Yes, Jesus, we should have compassion on everyone with whom we are at odds; have mercy on us and lead us into your paths of righteousness.
“And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So my heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” (Matthew 18:34-35)
Holy Spirit, please help each of us in this diocese forgive one another from our hearts so that we may receive our Father in heaven’s forgiveness for our trespasses. Thank you.
PRAYER TABLE REPORT
(Sat., Nov. 1, 2008, 9:15-10:15 a.m., in front of Christ Church, Schenectady; Torre Bissell and Deacon Alan Hart.)
a–indicates anointed with Holy Oil.
t–indicates received one of Torre’s wooden crosses.
c–indicates accepted one of our yellow “Are You Looking for GO?” cards.
Note: As we have told you many times, EVERY prayer table is different. Today there were two noticeable oddities; all who came to His table were men — not one single female. Also, there was a decided mood of confusion today — men looking for a way to get out of a problem they were having. Not much foot OR auto traffic on the street today. Sadly, about half the people who walked by said “No thanks” to our offer for prayer.
t,c– CARLOS — Wanted prayers “for myself” for things to just get better; we prayed for him to have provision, protection and safety. Wanted to know what time our services started, so we gave him a card and invited him to be part of our “family.”
t– “CHICK” — Seemed to be in a fog, but Torre invited Chick to prayer and he accepted. When asked what he wanted prayer for, Chick shrugged his shoulders and said honestly, “I don’t know!” We prayed for him to see God’s plan and path for Chick — that he will not go off to the left or the right of that path but just stay right on it.
a,t — JOHN — This young man asked for prayer for healing of pain in his back and his legs. We did not ask why these parts of his body hurt and he did not offer any explanations, but we prayed for healing. Deacon Alan anointed John’s back for continued healing.
a,t — LES — This older, needy and addicted man was a visitor to the Table last week. He was quite inebriated once again, just as he was last week. We prayed for Les to be freed from his obvious addiction to alcohol, although he did not ask specifically for it. Deacon Alan again anointed Les to be set free. Les’ eyes were as red as the stoplight down the street at the corner. Les, unsteady on his feet, still was wearing the cross Torre gave him last week, and he said “I really LIKE the cross!” and took another for a friend.
t,– HERMAN — This older man was walking and carrying an advertisement for an auto dealership which is located up by Mohawk Commons, so he still had a long walk ahead of him. We prayed for his safety and provision.
t,a,c — ROGER — This young man was in severe pain from just having had a tooth pulled! He had gauze in his mouth and his cheek was all puffed up. We prayed for him for healing of body, mind and spirit. Roger seemed interested in when we have service times and said he would like to “join us sometime.”
(For the third time in the hour in which we were stationed at the Prayer Table, an ambulance raced by. Torre prayed for the safety and well-being of the ambulance drivers and the health and covering for whoever all three of the amulances were intended.)
t,a,c — GIL — The most pleasant, happy and spirited of all our visitors this day. Gil asked for prayer for continued “good health.”
(A man walking from Dollar General with his daughter, both carrying packages) — The man and his daughter did not stop; seemed in a hurry. But the man did holler back to us “I know he is watching over me.” We prayed that God will bless that man and that girl.
Sunday: 8, 84; Ecclesiasticus 36:1-17 or Nehemiah 5:1-19; 1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13; Matthew 18:21-35
Monday: 64, 65; Ecclesiasticus 38:24-34 or Nehemiah 6:1-19; Revelation 14:1-13; Luke 12:49-59