Do you have someone that you need to forgive? Maybe it’s yourself. Maybe it’s someone else.
The truth is, we all need to practice forgiveness in order to live a life of genuine freedom.
In this blog post, we will discuss the power of prayer for forgiveness and how it can help us let go of the past and move on with our lives. We will also look at some scriptures that talk about forgiveness and how it can change our lives for the better.
“How many times, Lord?”
One of Jesus’ disciples, Peter, asked this question regarding how many times he had to forgive his brother or sister when they sinned against him.
The topic of forgiveness has been around a long time.
If you’ve ever asked, “How?” “Why?” “To what degree?” read on as we explore this age-old topic.
How do I to ask God for forgiveness of sin?
One of the greatest gifts we receive from God through the gospel is His forgiveness for our sins.
Upon seeing a beautiful woman bathing, King David sent for her and slept with her. To add to his sin of adultery, when David learned she was pregnant, he had her husband killed.
The prophet, Nathan, confronted him and David didn’t deny it. “I have sinned against the Lord.” (2Samuel 12:13)
But there’s more!
In David’s plea for forgiveness from God, he prays, “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” (Ps 51:7)
When David confessed his sin, he received the forgiveness when he asked!
God promises that when we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1John 1:9) This promise is true for David…and is also true for you and me.
(Would you like to read this account for yourself? David’s sin is recorded in 2Samuel 11-12 and his corresponding prayer is in Psalm 51.)
Free Instant Download 31 Days of Bible Verses About Forgiveness. PDF
Prayer to ask forgiveness from God
I invite you to read the following shortened version of Psalm 51 as you ask for God’s forgiveness for yourself:
Have mercy on me, O God, because I have sinned. I feel bad about it, but I admit it to you. God, Your word promises that when I confess my sins to You, You will forgive my sin and purify me. I believe that when Jesus died on the cross, His blood was acceptable to You to forgive my sin. With this faith, I humbly ask forgiveness. Thank You, God, for hearing my prayer. I pray all this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
How to ask forgiveness from others?
Asking forgiveness when you’ve sinned against someone else is such a big deal Jesus included it in His Sermon on the Mount.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)
Sin separates—but God is for reconciliation.
“Now [God] has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” (Colossians 1:22)
Reconciliation is tough. But how about forgiving someone before they say they are sorry. Nay—before they even realize they’ve hurt you!
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8
Ask forgiveness…because Jesus forgave you.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Eph. 4:32)
Prayer for forgiveness When You’ve Hurt Someone
May this prayer embolden you to ask forgiveness:
I have sinned. I have hurt someone and now I have to ask forgiveness. On the cross, Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them,” and I believe that in that prayer Jesus thought of me, had prayed for You to forgive me, even before I was sorry. Help me to seek out the person I hurt and ask forgiveness. And even if reconciliation is not possible, may You be glorified, for You are deserving of it. I pray all this in Jesus’s name, amen.
If your still having trouble forgiving other, after the saying the prayer for forgiveness below are some suggestions.
Tips for Forgiving Others
- Recognize that everyone makes mistakes, and that everyone is imperfect.
- Acknowledge the pain that you or the person you’re forgiving has caused.
- Forgive yourself and/or the other person for what happened.
- Let go of any anger or resentment you may feel towards yourself or the other person.
- Move on from the incident and try to not dwell on it
- Keep praying for the other person
Related: Prayer of desperation.
How To Ask God For Forgiveness For Yourself?
Forgiving myself is the hardest thing I have to do.
I feel bad I committed a sin (I should) and then I beat myself up about it (I shouldn’t).
Take the Prodigal Son as an example.
After he took half of his father’s property and recklessly spent it all (aka he sinned), for the sake of his growling stomach, he decided to confess his sins and work for his father (aka ask for forgiveness).
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him, ran to him, embraced his dirty, smelly son and kissed him (aka the son received forgiveness)!
(Enjoyed this story and want to read it for yourself? Jesus tells it in Luke 15:11-32.)
What if the son threw off the robe and ring, and declared, “But I can’t be forgiven for this particular sin.” And then goes out to work in the fields anyway.
Does it change his status as his father’s son?
But when you and I refuse to forgive ourselves for a sin Jesus died on the cross to forgive, it’s like working in the fields as a slave.
Except you aren’t a slave—you are free! Forgiven, redeemed, and adopted!
Prayer For Self-forgiveness
Use this prayer prompt to ask God for help forgiving yourself:
Lord, I confess that there is a sin that I can’t forgive myself for. Open my eyes to help me see me as You see me: as beloved, chosen, welcomed, and as Your cherished child. I believe I am no longer condemned by faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Help me to live every day in this truth. I pray all this in Jesus’ name, amen.
If you are still having difficulty forgiving yourself after the prayer for forgiveness try the following steps.
5 Steps in Forgiving Yourself
1 Ask God which parts of your life you’re having trouble forgiving yourself.
2. List the things you need to forgive yourself for and be specific. For example, “I forgive myself for judging myself harshly” or “I forgive myself for not being perfect.”
3. Say a prayer and thank God for forgiving you and ask God to help you forgive yourself!
4. Move on from the incident, and try to not dwell on it. If it does come up, try to remember how far you’ve come and thank God for His grace and mercy over the situation.
5. Try to live each day to the fullest and enjoy your life!
The Prayer for forgiveness is an important part of the Christian life. Jesus died to reconcile us back to God, and He also gave us the example of how to ask forgiveness from others.
When we sin, it’s important to ask God for forgiveness. It’s important to remember that God forgives us and loves us. No matter what. But sometimes prayer can make us feel better and you never know what God might reveal to you through heartfelt prayer.
If you have hurt someone, pray for forgiveness. Just ask God and remember, prayer is a powerful thing; you do not know what God may do or how he might change your heart or others’ hearts.
So try prayer for forgiveness today. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!!!
About The Author, Cheryl Kramarczyk
Cheryl writes romance centered on Christ, with a focus on forgiveness. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her working part-time as a lab tech and homeschooling her two sons with her husband in Chicago, Illinois. Get your free copy of her printable “Five truths to consider if you’re withholding forgiveness.” or read her engaging novella, Stay with me.
Cheryl Is a fabulous writer, and I’m so thankful for her guest post!