"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..." ~ Matthew 5:44
There will be many times in our lives when people will hurt us. As humans, we are flawed and often times, be it intentionally or unintentionally, we hurt and offend one another. But the pain you feel does not have to consume you. There is one simple thing that you can start doing today to help you on your journey towards healing and forgiveness. PRAY.
Yep, I said it. You can start to pray. Now, to be clear, I'm not talking about one of those, "Dear God, can you forgive that person for being a horrible human being and help them to get what they've got coming" kind of prayer. I mean a genuine heart-to-heart conversation with the Lord of Hosts about forgiveness.
Before we continue, I want to note that people often have a misconception that praying for forgiveness for someone is easy, but you'll find it can be quite difficult. Especially when those individuals are not sorry, indignant or downright prideful.
On the other hand, there are those who believe that praying for forgiveness for someone is extremely difficult. This is also not necessarily true. Sometimes, the people you think are the hardest to pray and ask forgiveness for, are the easiest individuals to forgive.
The point is, every situation and scenario is different, and you won't always get it right. The main thing is that you try your best. In the end, your ability to forgive the people who hurt you, will set you free from the anger, resentment and bitterness that comes with the pain they've caused you. Don't let others wreak havoc on your mental, emotional, physical or spiritual health. Forgiveness is the key to YOUR healing!
A Simple Forgiveness Prayer
I come before you asking for your forgiveness for [offender's name]. I am [say how you feel, i.e., hurt, broken-hearted, sad, etc.] and I really need your help. I need you to heal me. Please forgive me for my anger towards [offender's name]. Please protect my heart and keep my heart clean, pure and open to your love, joy and peace. Help me to release this to you, and please protect my heart and my life. Teach me to honor you. Teach me to obey you. Help me to trust in you. And give me the courage to forgive, to walk in freedom and to let go of the hurt so that I might experience your perfect love, peace and blessings in my life. I give this to you now, and ask that you will take control of this situation. In your Holy name do I pray all of these things, amen!
A Prayer For Help To Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You
Thank you for today. Thank you for the sacrifice you made on the cross to forgive us for our sins. Father, I am really struggling right now and I need your help. [Offenders name] really hurt me and I am angry. I don't want to pray for them, and I don't "feel" like forgiving them, but you asked me to, so I need your help. I want to honor you and to be obedient, but I'm really struggling with this one. Please help me to forgive [person's name]. Please heal my heart, take away my anger, and set me free from the bitterness and resentment that's starting to take root. Give me the strength to follow your example even though it's hard. Speak to me through your word and loose the peace of Christ over me and my household. Let your love overflow and fill my heart, my life, my surroundings and all those I encounter. I thank you for all that you have done, all that you are doing and all that you will do. In the matchless name of Jesus Christ do I pray all these things, amen!
Get In The Word
Before or after you pray, I'd encourage you to open your bible and spend time reading it. Read scriptures about forgiveness and grace. Read about God's sacrifice and mercy. Allow God to show you how to forgive through the example he gave us in his word. Then, follow his example.
Make Time To Worship
You don't have to have a great voice, you just have to have an open heart. God sees the heart of a man/woman and if you worship him sincerely and with all of your heart, it will touch his heart. But more importantly, he can heal you and your heart through worship and he delights in our worship to him. Some of the most peaceful moments in my life, have been when I've only focused on worshipping the only one who has never hurt or failed me. Think about it!
I hope this has helped someone out there. I'd love to hear your stories about forgiveness and prayer. Perhaps you've tried something that has helped you in your spiritual journey and walk with God. We'd love for your to share it!
Until then, God bless you all and I'll be praying for all the women who come through this digital publication.