Prayer for a forgiving heart

I knew I had forgiven him. At least, I thought I had. But as I spotted him from a distance coming up the aisle at the grocery store, a familiar pain pinched my stomach. I scurried over to the next aisle, ducking out of view. I began to wonder. Had I really forgiven this person who hurt me? I remember speaking words of forgiveness in prayer, but did I accept them in my heart?

Jesus gave us the ultimate example of how to forgive when he willingly hung on a cross to offer us forgiveness for our own sins. He spoke the powerful words, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34 NLT) This unfathomable demonstration of sacrifice showed how important it is for us to forgive. Yet we still struggle with it. So how can we forgive someone in our prayers and know we truly mean it with our hearts?

Colossians 3:13 says, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” The words Paul shared with the church in the verses that follow can serve as instruction when we pray to forgive those who hurt us. Forgiveness is hard. But with God’s Word as our guide, we can learn to forgive even in the deepest places of pain. We can fully release the hurt and move forward with a newfound compassion for our offender. 

Have you struggled to forgive that person who hurt you? Here is a prayer for forgiving them. Let’s join together in prayer with these words to our Heavenly Father. May they help us offer the gift of forgiveness today. 

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 is a communicator at heart who teaches about God’s powerful, relatable Word. She is the author of Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan and founder of the non-profit organization, More Than Yourself, Inc. Kristine writes about her God-story and helps others discover their own at www.morethanyourself.com.

Publication date: August 30, 2016

prayer for a forgiving heart



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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. 

prayer for a forgiving heart

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.

Prayer for Healing

Prayer for StrengthPrayer for ProtectionMorning PrayersGood Night PrayersSerenity PrayerA Birthday PrayerSinner’s PrayerPrayer for ForgivenessPrayer for GuidanceIntercessory PrayerPrayer for PeacePrayer for FaithPrayer for Love

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Prayer for a Merciful Heart

Sovereign Savior, I approach your throne of grace and mercy asking that you touch my heart. Lord, grant me a merciful heart.

Engulf and fill my heart with the type of mercy you gave, when Jesus died on that cross to save a lowly sinner such as myself.

I do not deserve such a beautiful gift. But yet You gave to me without question. Your love poured out as the precious blood of the Lamb flowed, so that we can have that same mercy.

Psalm 145:8-9 The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Let Your light shine

Allow me to be a replica of Your love. Let Your light shine through. Allow me to have mercy on myself as well as others. Let me follow in Your footsteps.

May I forgive just as You forgave the world. Soften my heart so that I can touch the lives of others. Lead me, guide me and walk beside me, as I portray You in all that I do.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Job 6:14 To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.

Lord, I forgive

Today Lord, I forgive those who have done me wrong in the past and I forgive those who will do me wrong in the future. I release it!

Every chain that binds me to negativity, hurt and pain will be broken. I curse it out and rebuke it and invite Your mercy into my heart. In Jesus’ Almighty name I pray, Amen!

Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

James 2:13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Passion – My Heart Is Yours (Live) ft. Kristian Stanfill

prayer for a forgiving heart

christianstt.com

There arent many things in life more important than forgiveness. As Christians, we understand that we all make mistakes, and that we must learn to forgive, as God forgives us.

Below are a few sample prayers for forgiveness. Submit your prayer request below to ask God for forgiveness.

prayer for a forgiving heart

A Prayer for Forgiveness

I have sinned, Lord, and while I know that all have sinned and come
short I am having a hard time letting go of my shame and accepting your forgiveness.

I know that I am unworthy of your love, but Your Word promises
forgiveness as long as we confess our sins to You and repent.
I am so sorry for falling short of what You expect of me,
and I pray for your mercy and the strength not to make the same mistakes again.

Amen

There are many circumstances when we need to ask to be forgiven. One of the more common circumstances that we see in prayer requests, is asking for forgiveness after an infidelity.

We must learn to forgive even after the most hurtful of actions.

Forgiveness After an Affair

Being betrayed by a spouse is a very painful thing,
but we know, Lord, that it is Your will that we learn to forgive.
What others do should never impact our walk with you, God.

We need to be able to learn to forgive even the most painful breach of trust.
Help us to forgive our spouse the same way that we want You to forgive us,
and give us peace and healing for our broken hearts.

Amen

Forgiveness in The Scriptures

The word of God offers us guidance on how to forgive our neighbors, and ourselves.

“Then Peter came up and said to him, Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times? Jesus said to him, I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.””

Read more Bible Verses about Forgiveness

Prayer Request: Post Your Own “Prayers for Forgiveness”

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If you’d like, you can post your prayer below so the PrayWithMe community can help pray with you.

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