Prayer against anger and bitterness

Omnipotent Everlasting Father, in every situation of my life, I give You full control. Your Word constantly reminds me that you care for me.

My spirit is broken. But, through the workings of the Holy Spirit, it all works together for my good. My heart is broken. But You make me whole. Though I may experience pain, it just serves to make me stronger.

Psalm 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret—it only causes harm.

Romans 12:21  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Focus on the positives

You are the Alpha and the Omega, the Author and finisher of my faith. Help me to focus on the blessings and positives in my life today.

As you examine my heart, Lord, search and reveal anything that is not of You that I may be set free.

As circumstances attempt to overwhelm me, Lord fill me with Peace and Clarity. Help me to control my anger and rage, Oh Loving Father.

Help me not to be consumed in it. I pray that sin would not emerge as the anger infests my mind.

James 1:19-20 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Colossians 3:8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 

Heal my heart

I also pray for those struggling with anger, wrath and temper control as well. Calm their minds, bodies and souls.

May the Holy Spirit consume and heal my heart, today, so that I may acquire that overflowing joy. In Jesus’ all-powerful name I pray, AMEN!

Ephesians 4:26, 29, 31 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

2 Timothy 2:24-26 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,  and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.  

Relaxing Christian Meditation Music with Bible Verses about Anger (for Worship and Prayer)

I’m a young Christian, from South Trinidad, seeking the wisdom of the Word and God’s blessings on my life. A journey, that’s just begun, but living to the Glory of God.

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prayer against anger and bitterness

About a week ago, I received an email from a reader. She saw my post on overcoming disappointment, and she asked if I could help her. She is suffering in an unbearably unjust situation, and she is angry and resentful at the person causing it.

I can’t share her whole story, but the details are unimportant. Your anger and resentment are as real and honest and justified as hers are. They’re understandable.

And she’s looking for answers, just like you are.

I prayed about this woman and her family, and I prayed for you. I prayed that God would give me the words to help both of you.

My therapist says that anger is always masking a more vulnerable emotion. I think it’s helpful to look at that more vulnerable emotion and to deal with that, but you can come back to that later. For now, let’s just talk about the anger and resentment you’re feeling.

12 Bible Verses & 5 Steps to Overcoming Anger and Resentment

Concrete steps make sense to me. Give me a numbered list, and I’m a happy camper. So I created a numbered list for you.

Following the steps isn’t as easy as 1-2-3. The steps are where the real work lies. I am praying that you are challenged by these steps, and that you find a way to get through them all.

  1. Control your temper. (Let’s start right away with the hard stuff!)

When people mistreat us and there’s nothing we can do about it, we get angry. It isn’t fair. Parents see it in their young children who are constantly on the lookout to make sure everything is fair.

The gut reaction to get angry in the face of unfairness never really goes away. God’s Word says that we are to control our tempers, even in the face of unfairness.

Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs. -Proverbs 19:11

Earn respect. What if the respect of men isn’t what you’re after?

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. -James 1:19-20

The righteousness God desires. Ouch. We may be able to brush off the respect of men, but the righteousness of God doesn’t go away so easily.

Do to others as you would like them to do to you. -Luke 6:31

When we overlook wrongs, we treat others the way we want to be treated. But what if the wrong is something really big? What if we can’t just get over it?

We still have choices. If the wrong is something monumental – abuse, neglect, criminal – then DO SOMETHING. Don’t just get angry, but take action. Enlist the help of someone who can stop it.

The reader who wrote to me has endured her situation for five months. Certainly, she has been slow to anger. But now, she is angry.

What next?

2. Don’t let your anger control you. God recognizes that sometimes, we do get angry. Often, we need to get angry to remedy a situation or to spur us on to action.

Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. -Psalm 4:4

He is saying to think about your situation, and see if it merits getting angry.

Are you saying something like, “YES! It does! I have a right to be angry. Is that wrong?”

Being angry isn’t a sin, but being controlled by anger is a sin.

And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. -Ephesians 4:26-27

So you’re angry. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry. Find a way to work out the anger, pray through the anger, move past the anger before you give the devil an in-road to your psyche.

Need a pick-me-up? Go do something kind for someone. Volunteer your time. Do good, forgetting about the person who’s made you angry for a while.

Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper – it only leads to harm. -Psalm 37:8

All scriptures are God-breathed, right? Every word is true. So what of this? Stop being angry?! How do you just stop?

3. You pray. Pray for yourself. Pray for the person who is making you angry. Pray for the situation. Pray that your heart will be softened and you’ll forgive.

People can’t change people. Only God can change people.

Right now, you need to be changed, and the person who’s hurt you needs to be changed. Give yourself permission to just focus on you for now. Ask God to change you and get rid of your anger despite the rotten situation you’re in.

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. -Colossians 3:8, 12-13

You are holy and beloved, my friend. You are, and you deserve better than what this anger and resentment are doing to you.

4. Forgive. I said these steps weren’t going to be easy. Pray that you can forgive the person who’s making you angry. Pray it every day, every hour, every minute if you have to.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. -Ephesians 4:31-32

It’s the Golden Rule again. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Treat the person who’s made you angry with the same tenderhearted kindness that you treat your kids with.

I heard once that holding unforgiveness in your heart is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Unforgiveness is toxic to your soul. It affects every part of your life, and it manifests in sickness, in tension, and in anger.

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. -Luke 6:37

We are required to forgive as the Father has forgiven us. It is not optional – and it does not come easily.

5. Love. Forgiveness is one thing, but loving is another thing entirely. Loving your enemy – the very person who’s hurt you – is also required by scripture.

Not suggested, required.

The very thought makes me feel sick for you.

You don’t want to act in a loving way towards the person who’s hurt you. Not at all.

That’s where prayer comes in again. Pray that you’ll have compassion and kindness for that person. (And keep praying it until it happens.)

Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. -Luke 6:35

This passage goes on to say that even sinners are kind to those who love them, but it takes something special to be kind to an enemy.

You see, we don’t get to have vengeance. It’s not ours; it’s God’s alone. We are called to love God and love one another, the end.

Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God.

For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge;I will pay them back,”says the Lord.

Instead, If your enemies are hungry, feed them.

If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.In doing this, you will heapburning coals of shame on their heads.

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. -Romans 12:17-21

You see, Jesus didn’t just die for you, my righteous friend. He died for the person who’s hurt you, too. He loves both of you the same. It doesn’t seem fair (there’s a parable about that), but it is so.

Jesus died for both of you because you’re both sinners.

Different stories, different sins, same black marks.

For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. -1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

Download these Bible verses on anger and resentment in a convenient black and white printable below. You can work on memorizing and meditating on them, one at a time.

If you need help with a system for memorizing verses, check out this post on our family’s memorization habit.

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© 2015 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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Of all the things in the human heart, anger can be one of the most intense, destructive, and unhealthy emotions that we can experience. If not handled in the proper way, it can have drastic life-changing consequences. Anger may be caused by pressures of work, family or even from being the innocent victim of another’s wrong-doing.  Left unresolved, anger creates an intense desire to destroy something.

Regardless of the reason for anger, the Bible has answers on what causes anger, examples of good (righteous) and bad (unrighteous) anger and how we should deal with it as Christians. Our earnest prayer should be that God changes our heart as we allow Him to mold us into a vessel fit to carry His gospel to the world. Take a look at these twenty Scripture quotes that talk about anger. Don’t forget to enjoy the video to the right “Change My Heart Oh God”.

Examples of Righteous Anger

Psalms 7:11 (KJV) God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

1 Kings 11:9,10 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the LORD commanded.

2 Kings 17:18 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight. None was left but the tribe of Judah only.

Mark 3:4,5 And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.

John 2:13-16 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”

Results of Unrighteous Anger

Genesis 4:5-8 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?  If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

Psalms 37:8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!  Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,  but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.

Proverbs 29:22 A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression.

Proverbs 30:33 For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife.

Wisdom & Patience Key to Overcoming Anger

Proverbs 14:16,17 (KJV) A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident. He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.

Proverbs 14:29 Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.

Proverbs 19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.

James 1:19,20 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Put Off Sinful Anger; Put On Forgiveness and Loving Kindness

Matthew 5:21-24 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift…” (Jesus’ words)

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:22-25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Ephesians 4:26-28 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

Colossians 3:8, 12-13 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Christian Quotes About Anger

“Anger and bitterness are two noticeable signs of being focused on self and not trusting God’s sovereignty in your life. When you believe that God causes all things to work together for good to those who belong to Him and love Him, you can respond to trials with joy instead of anger or bitterness.” ~ John C. Boger

“Wise anger is like the fire from the flint; there is a great ado to bring it out; and when it does come, it is out again immediately.” ~ Matthew Henry

“Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.” ~ Thomas A’ Kempis

“Is all anger sin? No, but some of it is. Even God Himself has righteous anger against sin, injustice, rebellion and pettiness. Anger sometimes serves a useful purpose, so it isn’t necessarily always a sin. Obviously, we’re going to have adverse feelings, or God wouldn’t have needed to provide the fruit of self-control. Just being tempted to do something is not sin. It’s when you don’t resist the temptation, but do it anyway, that it becomes sin.” ~ Joyce Meyer

“Our God is not an impotent God with one arm; but as he is slow to anger, so is he great in power.” ~Abraham Wright

Other Articles You Might Want To Read Today

Can A Christian Be Angry and Not Sin?   Read this article about Christians being angry. Do Christians have a right to be angry? Is it biblical?

20 Bible Verses About Friendship– How should you treat your friends? What does the Bible say about choosing friends? Read these great scripture quotes.

20 Bible Verses About Hope–  Are you in need of hope today? Check out these great uplifting scriptures on the subject on hope.

25 Bible Verses For Strength– Are you looking for Strength? Check out these scriptures about how to find strength in God.

Resources The Holy Bible, English Standard Version  The Holy Bible, King James Version “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.” www.youtube.com – Song “Change My Heart Oh God”

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Every destructive emotion bears its own harvest, but anger’s fruit is the most bitter of all. Uncontrolled anger is a devastating sin, and no one is exempt from its havoc. It shatters friendships and destroys marriages; it causes abuse in families and discord in business; it breeds violence in the community and war between nations. Its recoil, like that of a high-powered rifle, often hurts the one who wields it as well as its target. Anger makes us lash out at others, destroying relationships and revealing our true nature. The history of the human race is largely the history of its anger.

Nor are Christians exempt from anger’s grip. After Jesus’ arrest Peter angrily denied his Lord: “He began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, ‘I don’t know this man you’re talking about”‘ (Mark 14:71). Paul had to urge the Ephesian Christians to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Ephesians 4:31). How many churches have been torn apart by someone’s anger? How many people have been turned away from Christ because of a Christian’s anger? We get angry when others hurt us, both by what they say and what they do.

We get angry too when we don’t get our own way or our plans and dreams are frustrated. Anger may arise in an instant erupting like a volcano and raining destruction on everyone in sight. Often, however, anger simmers just below the surface, sometimes for a lifetime. Like a corrosive acid, this kind of anger eats away at our bodies and souls, yet we may not even be aware of its presence.

Some people are angry at God. Sometimes I get letters from people who have been touched by tragedy—but instead of seeking God’s help, they angrily blame Him for what happened. As a result they cut themselves off from the peace and joy He alone can give us, even when we don’t understand.

Is anger ever justified? Yes—when it is caused by injustice and sin instead of our selfishness or hurt pride. God is angry when His righteousness is scorned; Jesus forcefully drove out from the temple those who were callously making money from God’s people (Matthew 21:12-13). We must be careful, however; sometimes our so-called “righteous indignation” is little more than a cover for lovelessness or self-righteousness.

Anger and bitterness (as well as hatred, jealousy, and resentment, their offspring) aren’t identical, but they are closely related. Bitterness is anger gone sour, an attitude of deep discontent that poisons our souls and destroys our peace. My wife has said that a bitter, sour Christian is one of Satan’s greatest trophies—and she’s right. The Bible says, “See to it…that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Hebrews 12:15). Are anger or bitterness keeping you from becoming the person God wants you to be?

Conquering Anger

Can we overcome our anger, instead of constantly being overcome by it? Yes—with God’s help. Peter’s anger was channeled into boldness for Christ. Paul’s anger against Christians was replaced with a burning passion to spread the Gospel. The Bible commands us “to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:23-24). Is this your goal?

How should we deal with anger? The answer is decisively! The first step in gaining victory over unjustified anger is to want to get rid of it—and the key to that is to see it for what it is: sin in God’s eyes. Jesus warned, “Anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5:22).

This means we must stop making excuses for our anger or bad temper—blaming it on our parents, for example, or claiming we have every right to be angry because of something that happened to us in the past. We also must face honestly the toll anger and bitterness take on our lives.

They are our enemies!

The Bible says, “An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins” (Proverbs 29:22). It also says, “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; …it leads only to evil” (Psalm 37:8). Never underestimate anger’s destructive power.

The second step—as with every other sin—is to confess it to God, and seek His forgiveness and help.

On the cross Christ took upon Himself every sin you ever committed—including your anger. God in His love and mercy not only promises to forgive our anger, but to cleanse it from our lives if we will let Him. No matter its cause, commit your anger to God, and ask Him to replace it with the Holy Spirit’s fruit of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). Notice: Anger is the exact opposite of every one of these. Anger flees when the Spirit’s fruit fills our hearts.

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