In Matthew 6:9-15 Jesus said,Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,  but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Forgiveness is a hard thing to live out but I have found the best way for me to have real forgiveness in my heart is praying through it.  I have often felt that there is no one out there that needs more forgiveness than me, and if Jesus is willing to forgive me, a wretched sinner, how could I possibly withhold it from others. But even though I feel this way and want to forgive, it can be so hard. I would say impossible without the help of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I had many hurts to forgive. My mother and father abused me physically and allowed others to abuse me in other ways. And after becoming a christian, a sister whom I loved very much turned against me and spread lies about me and did all kinds of wrongs to me. I had a choice to make and my choice was to forgive. At first I thought that I could just say I forgive them and that was that, I was done. It did not take long for me to realize that even though I said I forgave them, in my heart I really had not because every time someone said their name I would feel pain and have bad thoughts. 

So what was I to do? First, I knew I could not talk bad about them and not allow others to talk bad about them to me as well.  After praying on the matter, it came to me to pray for the people who had wronged me. I started to pray for them about what I would want God to do for me in my life. I would pray for Kim (We will call her this for the sake of this post to keep it private.),  “Please Lord, protect Kim, I pray that you would keep her from temptation. I pray that you would watch over her and give her favor. I pray that you would protect and watch over her. I pray that you would keep her in good health and provide for all her needs. I pray that you would help her to walk out your perfect will in her life.” Then I thought I would pray as Jesus had taught but with them in mind. “Father in heaven, you alone are great and I pray that you use Kim and I to help your Kingdom to come to Earth and that your will be done and that you help us to release our wills and take up yours. Lord, please provide the food we need both physically and spiritually. I pray that you forgive me for withholding forgiveness and all the things that I have done wrong. Please help me to forgive Kim. Lord please help me not to be tempted to gossip or be drawn away from your perfect will in my life.”

At first it was so hard to get these words out and I certainly did not really feel them. Yet, I kept praying every day. And just like a new exercise routine that is hard and you can’t stand to do, as you press on and keep doing it every day, it becomes easier. As I continued to pray for these people who had wronged me, my heart softened and I eventually began to mean and want the things I was praying for. God had healed my heart and allowed me to truly forgive. I no longer harbored bad feelings toward them. 

Remember the words of Jesus “but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Forgiveness is a must. We can’t do it on our own. Seek God and allow Him to help.  I encourage you brothers and sisters to pray for those you need to forgive. Do not pray “God fix those horrible people!”, instead pray for them as God teaches us to pray. Pray for the things that you would want God to do for you. Keep pushing through the pain and hurt. Believe that God will help you and that  forgiveness will bring a peace that can’t be expressed in words but is amazing to experience. Watch God do a mighty work!

Written by Rebecca Murzin

Categories: Church Blog