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.
Table of contents
- 1 12 Bible Verses & 5 Steps to Overcoming Anger and Resentment
- 2 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.
- 3 Forgive Me
- 4 Strength To Forgive Others
- 5 Why Lord?
- 6 Repentance From Unbelievers
- 7 Forgiveness For Children
- 8 Our Leaders
- 9 Our Pastors
- 10 Conclusion
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.
- 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.
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.
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?
Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/DedMityay
Prayer of Forgiveness: A Valuable Gift
A prayer of forgiveness is something we all seek at some point in life. Forgiveness is a valuable gift that is neither easily obtained, nor easily given. Forgiveness is essential for life; it frees us from past wrongs and gives us hope for the future. It is for forgiveness sake that Jesus Christ came to earth to die for mankind.
Prayer of Forgiveness: Made Possible by Jesus Christ
The prayer of forgiveness is a prayer that is offered up to God. Though we may directly hurt each other, all of our trespasses ultimately hurt God. You may wonder how this is possible. How can our shortcomings hurt the omnipotent Creator of the universe? Does God even care? In Genesis 6, we find that God Himself actually grieved over all the wrongs that man had inflicted upon each other: “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart” (Genesis 6:5-6).
All knowing, God grieves even at the mere thought of evil. Thus, ultimate forgiveness must also come from God. However, because of His justice, forgiveness cannot be freely given. Every wrong must be accounted for in order for God to be a just judge. Jesus Christ died on the cross at Calvary in our place so that our sins may be forgiven. His suffering paid for our transgressions. “For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28).
In His love, God knew that our conscience needed to be freed from guilt and condemnation. He knew that forgiveness of sins was our greatest need. In the ultimate act of love, God not only suffered the pain of our wrongs, but also paid for their consequences in order that we may have forgiveness offered to us when we sin. All we need to do is to accept His free gift of forgiveness.
Prayer of Forgiveness: Ask God for Forgiveness
Perhaps you have stumbled upon this web page looking for a prayer of forgiveness to soothe a tormented soul. Or maybe you are struggling with trying to forgive another for deeply hurting you. For all who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, forgiveness has been freely given. If we acknowledge our wrongs and ask for forgiveness, God will forgive us – no questions asked: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
If we reject Jesus, in essence, we reject God’s gift of forgiveness. We are in fact saying that we do not wish to be reconciled with God (1 John 1:10). Though it is our free choice to not accept forgiveness from God, we will ultimately be accountable for all the sins we have committed at the end of this life. It is God’s deep desire to be reconciled with you. “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” (John 3:16). If you desire to be truly forgiven, consider what Jesus said and sincerely accept Him as your Lord and Savior. You will be forgiven and God will begin a transforming work in your life.
Prayer of Forgiveness: Receive a New Life
The prayer of forgiveness gives us a new hope and a new beginning. All our sins are wiped away by God. “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” (Hebrews 8:12).
If you understand that you are a sinner, and you believe that Jesus Christ came as the one and only Redeemer of sin, then you understand the prayer of forgiveness. The question is – are you ready to implement the prayer, by receiving God’s gift of His Son, Jesus Christ? If so, believe in Christ, repent of your sins, and commit the rest of your life to Him as Lord:
“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” (Acts 2:38).
If you decided to receive Jesus today, welcome to God’s family. Now, as a way to grow closer to Him, the Bible tells us to follow up on our commitment.
- Get baptized as commanded by Christ.
- Tell someone else about your new faith in Christ.
- Spend time with God each day. It does not have to be a long period of time. Just develop the daily habit of praying to Him and reading His Word. Ask God to increase your faith and your understanding of the Bible.
- Seek fellowship with other followers of Jesus. Develop a group of believing friends to answer your questions and support you.
- Find a local gathering where you can worship God.
Did you become a follower of Jesus today? Please Click YES! or NO Are you already a follower of Jesus? Please Click Here
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
– We have all
and deserve God’s judgment.
, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him.
, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He
for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was
rose from the dead
according to the
. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your
, declaring, “
Jesus is Lord
,” you will be saved from
and spend eternity with God in heaven.
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow JesusYes, I am already a follower of JesusI still have questions
Forgiveness and repentance go hand-in-hand in a Christian’s life. We must learn to always forgive others and to ask for forgiveness ourselves. Without repentance, we are liable of judgment from God. If we withhold forgiveness to others, forgiveness will also be withheld from us. Here are 7 prayers focusing on forgiveness and repentance. May we all strive to live as holy as possible by allowing the Spirit to convict us of our sins and to forgive others that sin against us.
There are no words to express how filthy I feel every time I break Your heart. The guilt and the shame are overwhelming! Lord, I need Your touch right now. I am so sick of being “born again” and still doing the things I hate doing. Like Paul, I am conflicted. “For I do not do what I want, but do the very thing that I hate.” (Romans 7:15) I am so sorry! Father, I ask for Your forgiveness right now. I am shocked that my life has come to a point where even some sins don’t affect me at all. Father, I have some hard layers on my heart that need peeling. Please give me a 100% heart of flesh. The hardness is a barrier between us that I can’t stand! I love You and I am so regrettably sorry for my selfish actions. Thank You for Your forgiveness, Lord. Without forgiveness I am nothing. With Your forgiveness I am whole again. I praise Your Name! Amen
Strength To Forgive Others
I can’t seem to shake the harm that’s been done to me off my shoulders. I am wallowing in the anger I feel. Lord, I shouldn’t think the vengeful thoughts that I have. You have called me to forgive every single person that wrongs me. I need Your strength to overcome these trespasses against me. Father, I want to forgive these people. Please cast the devil’s evil ways from me. I want to look at these people and see lost souls that need You. I want to forgive them completely so that You can use me however You wish, to be Jesus to them. Father, I am done with holding these grudges! Forgive me for holding on to them. I cast this burden at Your throne now. Do with me as you please Father. I love You and thank you for Your patience with me. Amen
Why do You forgive us? We shout praises to You when we sing worship. With the same tongue we curse other people that are made in Your image. (James 3:9 reference) Why do You forgive us? We say we love You and still keep sinning. Why do You forgive us? We spend time in prayer thanking You for your blessings and then we refuse to bless others. Why do You forgive us? We read our Bibles when we make time for it, but we also read other nonsense that is offensive to You. Why do You forgive us? We praise Jesus for His death on the cross for the atonement of our sins and then we nail Him to it again every time we trespass against You. Why do You forgive us every single time? I am so thankful for your endless supply of forgiveness! I can’t fathom how You do it, for I am only one man. You do this for every single person! The compassion and grace and mercy that flow from You is absolutely amazing and I love You for it! Thank you so much for forgiving me every time I sin! You are worthy to be praised! Amen
Repentance From Unbelievers
Father in heaven,
My heart grieves for those close to me that do not want to know You. They are lost souls wandering wherever the devil takes them. They are fulfilling their own desires of the flesh instead of yearning for the life that You give. Father, use me or anyone that You please to show Christ-like love to them. Father, I love these men and women and to think of them in eternal torment is tormenting me! I pray that the seeds that are planted in them Lord will be grown by You. You make miracles happen every day and I pray that You make one today in the lives of the lost. I praise Your Holy Name! Amen
Forgiveness For Children
Just as Job continually offered burnt offerings to you for the forgiveness of his children, (Job 1:5) I am praying for the forgiveness of mine. Lord, only You know what they have done. If they have sinned against You I pray that You would forgive them. I pray that they would seek repentance to make things right with You. Lord, if there is any sin that needs to be forgiven, I pray that You would soften their hearts and bring them safely into Your arms of grace and mercy. I thank you for Your unlimited love for us! Amen
You are all-powerful! Even Your thoughts produce action. I pray for our leaders in the government. Lord, they also have power, though it is limited. I pray that they would use their positions wisely, for You are the One who has allowed them to lead us. We need strong men and women of faith in these kinds of roles. I pray that our men and women in authority will strive to live godly lives and to repent when necessary. As in Animal Farm, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” If there is any corruption, I pray that our leaders would repent and ask for forgiveness, so that our country doesn’t fall apart. I thank you for our leaders and pray for their safety. I love you Father! Amen
I pray for pastors around the world. If there is any un-confessed sin active in their lives, I pray that You would bring them to the deepest valleys if that is what it takes to get them back on the narrow path. We need strong pastors leading our congregations. I pray that You would use the people closest to their pastors to keep them accountable, Lord. Accountability is a must in every Christian’s life. I thank you for our pastors, Lord, for they have a huge role to play here on earth. They have many big responsibilities and I am so grateful that they accept the challenges of pastoring. I love You, Lord! Amen
Forgiveness is absolutely necessary in a Christian’s walk with the Lord. “Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.” (Luke 11:4) God bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!
Have you read this other article about prayer?
What Does the Bible Say About Prayer?
Resources – The Holy Bible, English Standard 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.”
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