The Lord's Prayer - The Fifth Petition:
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
What is this? or What does this mean?
We ask in this prayer that our heavenly Father would not regard our sins nor deny these petitions on their account, for we are worthy of nothing for which we ask, nor have we earned it. Instead we ask that God would give us all things by grace, for we daily sin much and indeed deserve only punishment. So, on the other hand, we, too, truly want to forgive heartily and to do good gladly to those who sin against us.
We know that in all creation only the human family has strayed. We know that we are the ones who are divided and we are the ones who much come back together. Teach us love, compassion, honour, that we may heal the earth and heal each other.
- Steven McFadden, The Little Book of Native American Wisdom
Healing for broken people and places:
In the ancient Greek sport of archery, to miss the mark meant that the archer failed to hit a bull's-ey with his arrow. We "miss the mark" when we sin by being hurtful or dishonest in our dealings with others. We miss the mark by failing to see that we are all connected to God and to the creation.
Native Americans have long taught that we are all related and that what affects one affects all. As a result, they recognize that we have a responsibility to care for each other and the creation. In their prayers they ask for wisdom to heal the divisions between people and to heal the creation that has been spoiled by greed and misuse.
Our relationship with God, the source of all that is good, makes it possible for us to bring healing to a broken world. We do this as we receive forgiveness and forgive others. We do this as we care for each other and for the world that God loves.
Lord, let my prayer bring healing and unity to others and the earth. Amen.