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Three Parts:Confessing Your SinAsking for ForgivenessMoving ForwardCommunity Q&A
Asking God to forgive your sins is an important process. It is important that you admit what you did wrong and truly feel sorry that you did it. You must come to God, pray using scripture, and ask Him to forgive you. Then you must believe that he has. After you are forgiven, work on leaving sin behind and living a new life.
Part 1 Confessing Your Sin
- Name and admit the thing you’ve done.
Before asking forgiveness, you must specifically state the thing you did wrong and admit that you did it. If you’re feeling guilty, you may be tempted to make excuses or deny that you did anything wrong. Forgiveness is impossible if you don’t admit you did something wrong.
- You may think, “I guess maybe I shouldn’t have lied, but I had a really good reason and it was a small lie.” You are trying to justify what you did rather than admitting to it.
- Begin by praying, “Father, I took $5 from my brother without asking him for it.” You have named the sin (stealing) and you have taken the responsibility for it without making an excuse.
- Tell God that you know what you did was wrong.
Once you have named what you did, it’s important to recognize that it was wrong. It’s possible to say what you’ve done but to not believe that you were wrong to do it. Admitting you did it is pointless if you do not admit that you know it was wrong.
- You will not receive forgiveness if you say, “I’ve been sleeping with my co-worker even though I’m married, but I don’t see anything wrong with it.” You must recognize what you did as sin, as something God is unhappy about.
- Say that you are sorry for what you did.
It is still not enough to say what you did and admit that it was wrong. Now you must apologize for it. Feel sincerely sorry for the wrong, and let that regret come through in what you say to God. It’s important that you are actually remorseful when you say you are sorry.
- Asking forgiveness from God is not like when you say sorry to a brother but you really don’t mean it. It must be sincerely from your heart.
- Say something like, “I know that what I did was wrong, and I feel truly bad for it. I’m sorry that I broke our relationship. I’m sorry for sinning against you.”
Part 2 Asking for Forgiveness
- Pray about what you’re feeling.
You must always be honest when you are asking for forgiveness. If you believe that God knows your heart anyway, there is no sense in lying to him. Tell him the guilt you feel for your sin, and that being separated from him has made you sad.
- Say, “God, I feel sick to my stomach because I know I have caused you pain.”
- It can be good to pray aloud to God so that you are saying specifically what is on your mind as opposed to only thinking it.
- Use scripture in your prayer.
God’s word is powerful, and he encourages you to use it when you speak to him. Since the words in the Bible come from God, they show a model for how to talk to God. Search your Bible, or online, to find scriptures about asking for forgiveness. Use those to make your prayer meaningful.
- Look these scriptures up and pray them in your prayer: Romans 6:23, John 3:16, 1 John 2:2. These scriptures talk about forgiveness. The New Testament is full of truth about forgiveness.
- Search on your own and find scriptures that speak to you about the forgiveness you’re seeking. You can repeat the scripture verbatim or paraphrase it so it means more to you.
- Ask God to forgive you for what you’ve done.
Just as you would with other people, after saying you are sorry you must ask to be forgiven. There is no special prayer you have to pray to earn forgiveness from God. All you have to do is ask him to forgive you, through Jesus Christ, and believe that he will forgive you.
- Say to God, “I denied knowing you to my friend. It was wrong and cowardly for me to do that. I’m sorry I didn’t tell him about your love for us. Please forgive me for my weakness in that moment.”
- You do not need to plead, beg, or repeat yourself over and over. Asking God one time, with a genuine heart, is all you have to do.
- Tell God that you believe He has forgiven you.
Belief and forgiveness go hand in hand. It’s no good to ask for forgiveness but not believe God will forgive you. God says that when you ask him to forgive you with sincere hearts that is He is faithful to forgive. Tell yourself you believe Him and tell God you believe Him.
- 1 John 1:9 tells you that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Say this scripture to God and believe it.
- It’s important to remember that forgiven sins are forgotten. Hebrews 8:12 says, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
Part 3 Moving Forward
- Seek forgiveness from people you hurt by what you did.
Although sin ultimately breaks relationship with God, other people are often hurt, too. When you know that God has forgiven you, it’s important to seek forgiveness from others. Tell the person you are sorry you hurt them and ask them to forgive you.
- Remember that you can’t make someone forgive you, and you can’t earn it from them. They will either accept that you are sorry for what you did and forgive you, or they won’t. Don’t pester them if they refuse to forgive. You can’t make them change.
- Once you have apologized and asked for someone’s forgiveness, you must release yourself from the guilt. Even if they don’t forgive you, you’ve done your part in seeking to make amends.
- Repent of the wrong behavior.
Once you are forgiven by God for your sin and by others for any hurt you caused, you must turn away from that sin. Make a conscious decision that you will not purposefully commit the same sin again after being forgiven.
- You must remember that you will always sin again, but it’s important to say in the moment that you are turning away. The only way to get further from habitual sin is to tell yourself you are not going to do it again.
- Acts 2:38 is helpful in this process. It says, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
- Forgiveness is an important step, but walking away from sin is necessary, too, to remain close to God.
- Work to keep from doing the same wrong thing again.
Part of your goal in following Christ is to move further from sin, and this takes committed work. You won’t stop sinning immediately, but if you work on it, you will grow stronger. In Matthew 5:48, God calls you to become perfect, as he is perfect. It’s a goal that you must work toward.
- Find people who can help you avoid repeated sins. Learn scripture to combat temptation. Remember that sin only harms and you don’t need it.
- Spending time reading your Bible, praying to God, and talking with other Christians are all vitally important to living a life that is free of sin.
Add New Question
I am scared to ask my parents for forgiveness. What should I do?
Your parents love you no matter what. Ask for forgiveness. Tell them what you did wrong and how you will fix it.
Will The Lord forgive me for watching porn?
Yes, God loves us and he knows that one day we will turn to him. He is willing to forgive our sins.
Will God forgive me if I commit a sin and repeat it even if I already asked for forgiveness?
Of course He will. He understands that you struggle. Remember that Jesus experienced temptation and saw people struggle, so he understands. He will forgive you.
Can God forgive me for having an abortion?
Yes, he can forgive anything.
Will God forgive me for masturbating after resolving not to do it again?
God will forgive you if you repent in your heart and try not to do it again. Ask God to send his Holy Spirit to you to help you resist the temptation.
Can God forgive me for watching porn?
God ALWAYS forgives us if we ask for forgiveness. Yes, porn is a sin, but God can forgive you and help you to stop if you ask Him to.
Should I ask forgiveness from the person I’ve wronged before I ask God for forgiveness?
Asking forgiveness from the person you’ve wronged is crucial. Then you should ask for God’s forgiveness and promise you’ll try harder not to repeat the sin.
I have caused two abortions and after going for confession, I still feel guilty of my sin. Please show me what to do to totally receive forgiveness from God
If you pray to God and repent and ask for forgiveness, you will be totally forgiven. Any guilt left after that is not from God. Instead, make sure you are on birth control so this won’t happen again.
Will God forgive me if I steal?
Yes, god will forgive you. He loves you, and this is what the atonement is for. However, the atonement is not everything. If we pray and ask for forgiveness, God will forgive us if we do our best to make things right again and try to refrain from sinning in the future.
Will God forgive me if I secretly love a boy?
God forgives all sins except for blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, so yes, he will forgive you. Also, loving someone is not a sin.
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Whether we are seeking forgiveness for our own sins or asking God to help us forgive others, prayer is the first place to start when seeking restoration and healing. The below prayers can help guide your thoughts and words as you seek being forgiven or help in forgiving others. It is a big step to seek out forgiveness and you have taken a bold step in faith!
Before we jump into specific prayers for forgiveness, you may want to take some time to consider what God commands of us concerning forgiveness and why it’s so critical to be able to forgive. Visit our article: What Does the Bible Say About Forgiveness?
Prayer to God for Forgiveness of Sins
Even while I encourage you to pray this prayer, I caution you that saying words alone will not save you. Prayer doesn’t save. Only Christ can save. But prayer can be a means of reaching out to the Lord in true saving faith. If you pray these words in faith, Christ will save you. You can be sure of that.
Lord Jesus, for too long I’ve kept you out of my life. I know that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. No longer will I close the door when I hear you knocking. By faith I gratefully receive your gift of salvation. I am ready to trust you as my Lord and Savior. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to earth. I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank you for bearing my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life. I believe your words are true. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and be my Savior. Amen.
If you have prayed this prayer in sincere faith, you may want to put your initials by the prayer along with today’s date as a reminder that you have come to Christ in faith, trusting him as your Lord and Savior.
– Dr Ray Pritchard
Prayer for Forgiving Others
Dear Merciful Lord,
Thank you for your gift of forgiveness. Your only Son loved me enough to come to earth and experience the worst pain imaginable so I could be forgiven. Your mercy flows to me in spite of my faults and failures. Your Word says to “clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” (Col. 3:14) Help me demonstrate unconditional love today, even to those who hurt me.
I understand that even though I feel scarred, my emotions don’t have to control my actions. Father, may Your sweet words saturate my mind and direct my thoughts. Help me release the hurt and begin to love as Jesus loves. I want to see my offender through my Savior’s eyes. If I can be forgiven, so can he. I understand there are no levels to your love. We are all your children, and your desire is that none of us should perish.
You teach us to “let the peace that comes from Christ rule in our hearts.” (Col. 3:15) When I forgive in words, allow your Holy Spirit to fill my heart with peace. I pray this peace that only comes from Jesus will rule in my heart, keeping out doubt and questions. And above all, I am thankful. Not just today, not just this week, but always. Thank you for the reminder, “Always be thankful.” (Col. 3:15) With gratitude I can draw closer to you and let go of unforgiveness. With gratitude I can see the person who caused my pain as a child of the Most High God. Loved and accepted. Help me find the compassion that comes with true forgiveness.
And when I see the person who hurt me, bring this prayer back to my remembrance, so I can take any ungodly thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5) And may the confidence of Christ in my heart guide me into the freedom of forgiveness. I praise you for the work you are doing in my life, teaching and perfecting my faith. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
– Kristine Brown
Short Prayer to Forgive Others
Dear Lord, I thank You for the power of forgiveness, and I choose to forgive everyone who has hurt me. Help me set free and release them to You . Help me bless those who have hurt me . Help me walk in righteousness, peace, and joy, demonstrating Your life here on earth. I choose to be kind and compassionate, forgiving others, just as You forgave me . In Jesus’ name, amen.
– Debbie Przybylski
Short Prayer to Forgive Yourself
Father, today I ask forgiveness of all the negative and harmful words I have spoken about myself. I do not want to abuse myself in such a way again. Transform my thoughts and let me understand how marvelously you made me. Change my habits so I use my tongue to speak hope and favor upon my life. In Jesus’ name.
– Sarah Coleman
Matthew West – Forgiveness (Official Lyric Video) from matthew-west on GodTube.
Bible Verses About Forgiveness
Matthew 6:14-15 – For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Isaiah 1:18 – “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
Micah 7:18-19 – Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
Mark 11:25 – And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Colossians 3:13 – Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Ephesians 4:31-32 – Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Luke 17:3-4 – So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
Read more Bible Verses on Forgiveness at BibleStudyTools.com
If you’ve been set free from sin and the hurt from others, comment below so that others can live in freedom through forgiveness too! Be a light to our online community and recieve encouragement for your own walk of faith.
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.
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