Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us. Matthew 6:12
The starting point for any participant attending prayer ministry, is forgiveness. As prayer ministers we are not surprised at how difficult this is. Withholding forgiveness (I’m going to call it unforgiveness) can so easily become a comfortable overcoat, an excuse for not moving on, or a reason why! Sometimes it is so deeply embedded in our innermost being we are not even aware of it, and the strength of feelings we harbour to another. The symptoms of unforgiveness are numerous, for example, mystery illnesses or not recovering from illness within a reasonable time frame, life generally not going well, and living in constant offence.
Our body soul and spirit are all interconnected and we need to keep short accounts by walking in forgiveness 3 John:1-2 gives us a wonderful promise… Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.
What Is Forgiveness?
The Greater Good Science Centre at UC Berkeley published the following helpful insight in its Greater Good Magazine (https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/forgiveness/definition):
“Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.
Just as important as defining what forgiveness is, though, is understanding what forgiveness is not. Experts who study or teach forgiveness make clear that when you forgive, you do not gloss over or deny the seriousness of an offense against you. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses. Though forgiveness can help repair a damaged relationship, it doesn’t obligate you to reconcile with the person who harmed you, or release them from legal accountability.
Instead, forgiveness brings the forgiver peace of mind and frees him or her from corrosive anger. While there is some debate over whether true forgiveness requires positive feelings toward the offender, experts agree that it at least involves letting go of deeply held negative feelings. In that way, it empowers you to recognize the pain you suffered without letting that pain define you, enabling you to heal and move on with your life.”
Once we forgive we let ‘that person’ off our hook and allow God to do what he needs to do. Until we forgive we are setting ourselves up as judge and jury (elevating ourselves above God) and blocking divine intervention. Learning to forgive ourselves is equally as important as forgiving others and also forgiving God.”
Lord, I forgive………………..
I give you permission to take the judgment and bitterness out of my heart. I do not want this in my life. I surrender it to you and ask you remove it. Lord I ask you to heal me where I have been wounded and forgive me where I have sinned. I choose not to blame or hold the actions of___________ against them. I hereby surrender my right to be paid back for my loss by the one who has sinned or trespassed against me, and in so doing, I declare my trust in God alone as the righteous Judge.
Father God bless them in every way.
In Jesus name Amen
Recommended further reading
As we forgive those, how to forgive others, ourselves and God
Charles F. Fink