The reflection that I chose to read was from 13 forms of prayer. I chose to read about the prayer of thanksgiving, something that I need to incorporate into my everyday life. After reading the prayer of thanksgiving the aspect that spoke to me the most was the first prayer suggestion that it gave me. That said I have to pray for the desire to want forgiveness. This spoke to me the most because it made me realize that I have to ask for forgiveness, I can’t just pray and hope it happens. The chapter mentioned the aspect of physical therapy and that results don’t come right away, and that idea is the same with the act of forgiveness. I may have to repeatedly pray asking for forgiveness in order for it to work through me. I realized that if I truly don’t have the desire to be forgiven, it won’t ever actually happen to me. This chapter really helped me to see that I have to really want forgiveness, I can’t just ask for it and receive it.
When it comes to the obstacles that I face when forgiving life’s hurts, I struggle with two main things. The ability to forgive myself, and praying for the offender. Most times when something happens in my life, even if I truly didn’t do anything wrong, and someone else hurt me, I still continuously bring myself down, and think that I am the one that did wrong. I think that everything’s my fault, and that I could have done something differently. Just the same when I do things wrong I struggle to see the good left in myself. I struggle to let go of what I did that was wrong, and only focus on the bad that came out of it. The second struggle I have is praying for the offender. I can let go of the action that hurt me, but not the person that hurt me. Instead of asking God to help the person that hurt me, I constantly catch myself asking God how I can get back at that person. I only focus on giving them the same pain that they gave me. With the help of the prayers of forgiveness, I can strive to better myself in those aspects.
Throughout my life I do believe that I have become a more forgiving person. What contributed most to this growth was my realization that the longer I hold onto a grievance or hate in my life, the more hurt it will cause. Not only will it hurt me, but it will also hurt the other people involved. What I mean by this is that holding onto a hate I have towards someone will only make life harder for me. I realized that by forgiving myself, and the other people involved, I could strengthen my relationship with myself, with other people and with God.
The advice that I would give to someone suffering to forgive a big hurt in their life, is to forgive themselves first. They won’t be able to forgive anyone else unless they find forgiveness within themselves. I would tell the person to put themselves in the other person’s shoes, think of the hurt they are feeling. Ask themselves the question, is this really that big of a deal? By thinking about the hurt they are causing others, the person struggling will come to a realization that the only way to help the situation is to forgive. I would tell the person that in order to get over this struggle, the only option is to forget everything else, and forgive.
My experience with the suggested prayer option is that it really opened my eyes. It made me come to realize that the hurt I’m holding onto really isn’t that important, it really isn’t that big of a deal. I realized that the only reason I still hold onto the hurt I feel for so long is because I don’t know how to forgive myself. I don’t know how to let myself let go of the hurt someone has caused me. This prayer experience really brought forth the struggles I face in my daily life. I could definitely make this a habit in my life, every time I experience hurt in my life I will take a seat and really think about the situation I’m in, and figure out the best solution for it. I highly suggest that other people try this form of prayer, because it allows the person to really sit down and think about what they are going through. It allows them to ask themselves what the best solution to their issue is. This form of prayer allows the person to connect with themselves, and ask themselves the question, is this really that important? Experiencing this form of prayer allows people to forgive themselves, which will lead to the forgiveness of everyone involved.
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