A transcript of Aunty Sue's reflection can be downloaded here.
“Jesus said to them, pray that you will not fall into temptation. Now that can come out in many forms. It might be a time to think evil of other people. It might be a time to think about the wrongs that other people have done to us…the temptation of wanting to hang onto that anger…there are always those things that we hang onto that makes it really tough for us to forgive…Deliver us from situations where we hang onto all of this hurt and grief and loss. It’s always tough when it comes to forgiveness. Giving over to God is something that we all should learn to do…God is there and God will help us through. And if we can say no to the temptation, then we will live a better, healthier life.”
‘Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil’ is a call for redemption and deliverance from evil and sin, grounded in the deep hope we have in our deliverer God who is attentive to our voice and prayers. As Aunty Sue acknowledges, we all face many trials and temptations to hold onto grief and hurt rather than forgive - “It’s always tough when it comes to forgiveness. Giving over to God is something that we all should learn to do.”
In teaching us this prayer Jesus stands and prays alongside us, helping guide and strengthen us in our faith and walk with Him. As Aunty Sue Hodges encourages us “We need to take it to Jesus….to keep leaning into Jesus. Just keep remembering that He's in control.”
We invite you to pray and continue reflecting on The Lord’s Prayer today.
Read: Luke 4: 1-13, Matthew 26:38-42,Hebrews 4:14-16 and 1 Peter 5:7-10
Reflect: What can we learn from Jesus’ example of responding to trials and temptation?
How can you deepen your trust in God’s protection and deliverance, even in the midst of difficult circumstances?
What practical practices will you put in place to remember God’s promises?
Pray: Join us in prayer today, led by Megan Haviland
O Lord, you alone know the depth of me.
You know all my hurts, my grief and my frustrations.
Father please, comfort me, set your peace in my heart and in my mind and guide me in justice and in faith.
When I am overwhelmed by the storms of temptation
Lord, raise me up by your strength. Deliver me from that which causes my heart to wander from you.
Father, My heart struggles to forgive wholly and fully. But you have shown such forgiveness by graciously extending it to us. Help me forgive freely and let go of the anger that consumes, and grant me the strength to trust that your way is best.
Lord, ground me in the hope that that your will, your love and your justice will prevail.
I pray, in your redeeming and restoring name.
Act: Forgiveness often involves a process of letting go of hurt and anger, but as Aunty Sue reflects, we can be tempted to hold tight to these responses.
What are some practical steps you can take to release negative emotions and cultivate a spirit of forgiveness? How can you incorporate prayer, meditation, and other spiritual practices into your journey of forgiveness?
Aunty Sue has worked with Kairos Prison Ministry for over 10 years. Educate yourself on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice issues within the prison system, particularly youth incarceration, the age of criminal responsibility and Aboriginal deaths in custody. How can you advocate for and support your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sisters and brothers facing these harmful and racist policies and systems?
Aunty Sue Hodges is a Wiradjuri woman from the Central Western Slopes and Plains of Wellington in NSW. She is part of the Salvation Army’s Indigenous Ministry team working as the Divisional Indigenous Engagement Coordinator for NSW/ACT. She works in many areas including providing prison ministry, advocacy, and providing guidance to the denomination around Indigenous cultural and social justice issues.