From the Heart: Praying for Forgiveness

When cut to the quick by those who should have loved us, the pain hurts more than the wounds of a stranger and Jesus certainly understands this more than we. We know the Scriptural admonition to forgive–and this doesn’t mean to condone or accept because wrong is wrong. However, we know we are flawed individuals, and we each have erred. And forgiveness is not an option. When we me our Father on Judgment Day we want to hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant” not “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoer!”

So how do we forgive, especially when we were right–clearly and without pride? (and remember, this isn’t always the case–we are human, after all).

The first step is to pray for the offender which is not easy and often our will rebels against it. However, we cannot hold the sin against the believer–whatever we forgive on earth is forgiven in heaven, and we certainly want forgiveness from God and people for ourselves. To get that, we must give it.

One trick I’ve found that works when I do not want to pray for something goes like this: “Lord, help me want to pray for forgiveness.” Sometimes I go a step further and pray that I want to want to–because I know how to hold onto a grudge. Usually I couple those prayers with an actual petition for the offender, and I’m honest. I tell God I may not mean it now, but I want to mean it. Eventually, my prayers become sincere.

Prayers restorative. Read James 5:16 and see. Although verse 15 talks about praying for the physically ill– it has an application beyond the physical. “…confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

For me, I want to be able to fix things–do something. However, we cannot forgive unless we lean on God our Father. This is the first step.

My next post will explore concrete steps to take.

No Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    In the past I struggled with forgiveness. But I remembered how much I had been forgiven, those I have hurt, intentionally or unintentionally, and my weaknesses that I still have…then I would picture Jesus on the cross asking the Father to forgive those that had put Him there. There is no greater love than this!

  2. Anonymous says:

    those are power full words, hope i can remember them when it is needed.

  3. Marie and Linda, you both hit the nail on the head. And there's an ah-duh moment for me, Marie. I didn't even think of those words of Jesus!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Jesus said as he died on the cross…Forgive them for they know not what they do. Most of the time people don't know what they have done. I try to see people thru the eyes of God. His ways are not our ways. And no one said it was going to be easy…..

  5. Linda S. says:

    I found the best way to forgive someone who has hurt you deeply is to pray for that person with love not in anger and asking God to get even for us. But to ask God to bless the person who has hurt you even in the midst of the hurt. Ask God to help you truly let it go if you dont it will tear you apart. Been there done that and it was not fun. I have had to let go of a hurt and betrayal that went deep. If I had held on I would be one miserable lady today. Thank God he has helped me let it go.

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