FORGIVENESS— KEY TO EFFECTIVE PRAYER

A few years ago I saw a young jogger wearing a T-shirt that read: Before you pray, forgive. T-shirt slogans can be like bumper stickers — hard to ignore. And this caught my attention since I'm a prayerful person and I'd been thinking a lot about forgiveness.

Perhaps, I thought, the slogan was based on Jesus' instruction, "If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift" (Matt. 5:23, 24). Often, reconciliation involves forgiveness.

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