by J. Gerald Harris

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A Prayer for Forgiveness (4 of 5)
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
Matthew 6:9-13

This prayer for daily bread is followed by a prayer for daily forgiveness. Many of us, conscious of our need for daily strength, are utterly unconscious of our need for daily forgiveness. This prayer for forgiveness meets a demand that is just as universal as is that for daily bread.

The whole Bible is written on the assumption that man is a sinner. It declares emphatically that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Now, we may compare ourselves among ourselves with little sense of guilt. We may shut our eyes at times to our own moral ugliness. We may stop our ears in some measure to the outcries of conscience. We may administer sedatives to our souls with this and that excuse. But with all this, there is not a one of us who is free from sin.

In preparation for beginning a meeting in a large city, the famed evangelist Billy Sunday wrote a letter to the mayor in which he asked for the names of individuals he knew who had spiritual problems and needed help and prayer. The evangelist was surprised when he received from the mayor a city directory.

In the days when there were fewer cameras and fewer photographs, and when it was an event in one's life to have one's photo taken, a preacher with a party of friends was enjoying a pleasant Saturday afternoon in Glasgow, Scotland. He carried with him a little leather case containing his Bible. And as he walked along, a company of young people out for a picnic approached him and said, "Please, will you take our photograph," thinking that the little leather case contained a vest pocket Kodak.

Without a moment's hesitation the evangelist said, "O, I have it already."

The spokesman for the group said, "When did you take it? We didn't know you took our picture."

"Well, anyway, I have it here, and here it is." And with that word the preacher pulled out his well-worn Bible, opened it to Romans 3, and began to read. "This is ...

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