A Prayer for the Strength to Forgive – Your Daily Prayer – April 16


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A Prayer for the Strength to Forgive
By Emily Rose Massey

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32, ESV).

I saw this quote the other day online that really moved me: “Unforgiveness is choosing to stay trapped in a jail cell of bitterness, serving time for someone else’s crime.” Unforgiveness truly is bondage; It is a yoke that slowly tightens around our neck and chokes the life out of us. That kind of bondage of bitterness is like a cancer that spreads throughout your whole body and affects you completely and everything and everyone around you. We are given many opportunities every single day to take the bait to become offended and hold grudges, but it is so important that we hold onto Jesus and His powerful Word – God’s perfect truth. In his letter to the Ephesian church, the Apostle Paul exhorts them to:

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32, ESV).

Just like all of humanity, I have fallen short of the glory of God, and I need my sins to be forgiven and washed clean by the finished work of the cross of Jesus Christ. Oh, what love has been extended to me that while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me (Romans 5:8)! If Christ died for me and has forgiven me, someone who has sinned against a Holy and righteous God, how could I possibly withhold forgiveness to another child of God? 

If you are harboring unforgiveness toward another, especially someone in the family of God, release it now, don’t wait! You can find strength in Jesus to learn to walk in total forgiveness, even in the midst of the most painful sin and offense against you. Oh, what freedom and peace you will find!

In those moments when I am hurt, upset, or offended, I must extend grace, which doesn’t mean that we don’t lovingly rebuke, correct, or warn when necessary because that is also extending love toward others. But after that difficult confrontation has taken place, we must release that situation to the Lord, and He will be the One to vindicate us if we truly have been wronged or sinned against. We need to rest in His sovereignty and trust that He will work in that person’s heart as well as ours as He teaches us to truly love others like He does. Above all, we must remember that every person is made in the image of God, and they deserve love and respect no matter their actions or words toward us. May the love and mercy that has been given to us from the Lord flow to the most difficult of people in our life. 

I don’t know who you may need to forgive. I don’t know how deep the pain goes, how big or small the offense may be. I don’t know how long you have carried that burden with you, but I do know that you need to forgive, and you don’t have to do it in your own strength. God has given you the Holy Spirit to help you, to heal you, to change your heart. Let’s ask Him to give us the strength to forgive and pray for those who have hurt us so that we can be free and honor God and show compassion toward our brothers and sisters in Christ, extending mercy because have been given mercy ourselves.

Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father,
I come to you today first and foremost with a grateful heart that You would lavish Your mercy and love upon me, someone who has sinned against You, oh, Holy and righteous Creator God! Thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus, who stood in my place to die a death that I deserved so that I could be forgiven, justified, and restored back to You to now be called Your child. If I am holding onto unforgiveness against someone who has hurt me or gravely sinned against me, I repent and forgive that person immediately. I have no right to harbor unforgiveness against anyone, and as Your child, You call me to forgive others because I have been forgiven by You. I choose to obey You, no matter how difficult it may be for me. I trust Your Spirit will empower me to forgive and love others how You have forgiven and love me. Help me heal from the wounds that may have been caused by the hands of others. I pray for their heart that they would walk in repentance and walk in forgiveness and know and trust You like I do.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Boonyachoat

headshot of Emily MasseyEmily Massey began writing short stories and poetry as a little girl, entered the blogging world in her early 20s, and published her first book in 2015. She enjoys being a stay-at-home momma while still being able to pursue her passion as a writer. Believing she has been forgiven much, she loves much, and desires to point others to Christ and His redemptive and transforming power, especially by sharing truth found in God’s written Word. If you would like to connect with Emily, you can visit www.emilyrosemassey.com

Teach Us to Pray is a FREE prayer podcast hosted by iBelieve writer Christina Patterson. Each week, she gives you practical, real-life tips on how to grow your faith and relationship with God through the power of prayer. To listen to her episode on What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day, click below!

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