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
Sometimes in this crazy, mixed up world, when our hearts are grieving and we’ve suffered devastating blows, when loss feels too deep, and the battle seems fierce, the most comforting words of all are just these 2:
“Jesus wept.” John 11:35
The shortest verse in the Bible, yet one that holds such great power. That allows us to see straight into the very heart of our God whose heart beats for us. Into the compassion of our Savior who is acquainted with grief and understands deep sorrow. Into the very Spirit of God who covers us, is with us constantly, and breathes life into our innermost being.
He wept. He hurt. He grieved. He experienced loss. He felt compassion. He understood this path of suffering.
There are some who walk in our world today, and falsely believe they hold great power. They carry a gun, brandish a weapon, or spill out cruel words. They attack, they abuse, they follow the very evil whispers of the enemy himself. Their main aim is “to steal, kill, and destroy.” John 10:10
But what they don’t know is that they can never truly win. For they’re not merely fighting against flesh and blood, they’re fighting against God.
And He’s already won. He’s victorious. He holds the keys over death. Here’s truth in all the craziness of this world from the God who made us and hold all things in His power today:
He knows all.
He’s with us.
And He wins over evil.
Death never holds the final victory for one who is set free by Christ.
Jesus has conquered it all by His own sacrifice on the cross.
And no single gunman, no hand of a terrorist, no disease or cancer, no tragic accident, nor even the final days of our old age can ever separate us from the love and sheer grace of God. For He has set eternity in our hearts. We’re set free by His power. One final breath here on earth, is just the beginning of life evermore.
We never have to fear.
May God’s comfort and peace cover all those who grieve.
He weeps. With us. For the city of Orlando. For those who are suffering great loss right now.
And He’s here. Still. With us. Close…
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Is. 41:10
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom. 8:37-39
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Ps. 34:18
“Jesus wept.” John 11:35
Our hearts are grieving with the people of Orlando, for those who have lost loved ones, who have suffered such great tragedy at the hands of evil. We ask that you would be their Comforter, that you would cover them with your grace and mercy, surrounding them in peace during this dark time.
We thank you that you alone are our Refuge, our Strong Tower, our Defender, and our Peace. We thank you that no matter what we face, you are still on the throne, you are still in control, and that no evil can ever stand against you. It will be defeated, it will not win. For you alone have won the final victory, and the enemy’s days are numbered.
We ask that by your mighty power, you would bring down the forces of darkness, that you would thwart the plans of all those who plot to attack and destroy, that you would draw out of darkness those souls who need to know you as Savior and Lord. We praise you for your power to set the captives free. We know that only in You do we have the hope to face dark and uncertain times. For our future is secure through the sacrifice of Christ.
Thank you God that you are surely with us…thank you that you care…thank you that your Presence is close…and that you weep with those who weep. We need you. We know and believe beyond any doubt, that your power and love will never fail.
In the Mighty Name of Jesus,
the Name Above All Names,
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor’s wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead’s facebook page,http://www.facebook.com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also at and
Some days, life is just hard. The days look dark. Uncertain times and stress mount high. An unexpected diagnosis or devastating loss can feel too difficult to face.
Though we may realize our faith is most strengthened, not in the easy times of life, but in the most trying, it’s often hard to walk that out once we’re swirling in the midst of it all. We long for carefree days, yet sometimes, God takes our hand and leads us straight into the darkest of times. Not to harm us, ever. But to bring greater strength, character, trust, beauty, and perseverance to the deepest part of our souls.
His desire for us in this life is to ultimately make us more like Him. To have a relationship with us. He will not leave us sitting in dark days but will walk with us through until we come out on the other side. Changed. Stronger. Renewed. With great purpose.
For those who need fresh hope today…you are not alone.
You are never forgotten.
He is with you.
Every step of the way.
10 Verses for when you feel broken, for those in need of comfort:
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Ps 147:3
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Ps 34:18
“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
“I believe I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait on the Lord.” Ps 27:13-14
“Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Cor 1:3-4
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, yes, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds, you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Ps 55:22
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Cor 12:9
Know that He loves you, He cares about what you’re walking through, every single thing. And He hasn’t left you, not ever. Praying that you’ll have a fresh glimpse of His Presence as He’s bringing you through, to the other side of the grief.
There’s more in store…He has good for you…and whispers hope.
A Prayer for When You’re Hurting
Some days feel too hard. We’re hurting. Struggling. Fighting fear and worry at every turn. Thank you in the midst of it all, you haven’t left us to fend for ourselves. Forgive us for doubting you are there. Forgive us for thinking you’ve forgotten. Forgive us for believing we somehow know the better way.
You are fully trustworthy. You are All-Powerful. You are Able. You are Lord over every situation no matter how difficult it may seem. You are Healer and will never waste the grief we carry today. You will use all things for good in some way. Anything is possible with you. Nothing is too difficult for you.
We pray for those who grieve today. We ask for your comfort to surround those who weep. We pray for the peace of your presence to cover our minds and thoughts, as you remind us, the enemy can never steal us out of your hands. He never has the final say over our lives. We are kept safe in your presence forever, whether in life or in death.
We thank you that your ways are higher than our ways and your thoughts are bigger than our thoughts.
We lay it all down at your feet, every burden, every care. Believing that is the safest place for it to be.
We love you, Lord, we need your fresh grace.
In the Powerful Name of Jesus,
What are you praying for God to take control of today? Join our large community of praying believers in the comments below and experience hope, peace and comfort as you face each day.
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor’s wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also at and
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Prayer for Healing
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How to forgive someone who has hurt you. Pray!
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I exposed a sin, reluctantly, that had been going off and on for years. It was destroying my marriage and I was sick of it. The other person involved (a christian for years) was so irate and she had every nasty word and hate thrown my way.
I was deeply hurt by the ongoing sin and the response by those involved and even from (in my opinion) the passivity from the others who knew what was happening.
I’m sure we all could quickly come up with one or two names of people that have hurt, betrayed, lied and/or offended us. It happens. We are a fallen people.
Our first human response is usually to want nothing to do with them any longer and maybe even try to hurt them back in return by snubbing them or worse. Isn’t there a bible verse that says something like an “eye for an eye”?
The “eye for an eye” quote comes from the book of Matthew in the New Testament. Let’s take a closer look at what it says:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.” Matthew 5:38-40 NIV
God doesn’t want us to take revenge, hate, nor return the hurt towards those that have scarred our hearts. And equally He doesn’t want us holding onto the pain and letting it fester inside us and allowing it to turn into bitterness.
It’s actually the opposite of what He wants us to do. Read Romans 12:19.
God wants us to pray for those that hurt us.
To be completely honest, my first thought of God wanting me to pray for those that hurt me was a huge NO. I don’t want to think about them. I’d be content if they didn’t exist. To be sure, I definitely wasn’t thinking about praying for them.
Let’s see what the Bible says on this issue.
“Bless those that curse you, and pray for them that despitefully use you.” Luke 6:28 KJV
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44 KJV
As Christians, we also need to remember that the fight isn’t against each other. The bible tells us the real battle is against satan and his demons. So we must acknowledge what is behind people’s bad behavior.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
I felt God gently tugging at my heart to let go of the pain I was holding and pray for my enemies as I read those verses.
So try to picture me dragging myself to my prayer spot, acting like a spoiled child who hates chores, and praying. While praying, I asked God to forgive my unwilling heart and to change me.
And I prayed. I prayed for healing over the situation. I prayed that all involved would have repentant, humble hearts. I prayed for restoration and redemption over the marriages. I prayed for a true surrender and salvation over everyone involved. I prayed for God to help me forgive and release all pain to Him. I prayed. With tears soaking my lap, I prayed.
Healing and forgiveness is a process. Sometimes I still have to pray over this situation. Bringing it to the Lord every time the enemy or my own flesh recalls the painful situation.
God cares for our pain and circumstances. He is always here to comfort us, to be our strength, to heal our wounds and be our refuge in hard times.
However, those of us in Christ, need to stand on the knowledge of who He is and who we are in Him. We should be firm in our identity in Christ. This includes acknowledging and responding to painful situations in a way that glorifies Christ.
God loves those that hurt us. He wants to see them restored, redeemed and renewed in Him. He has hope, grace, mercy, forgiveness, wholeness, joy, peace and so much love for ALL of us – even for those that hurt us.
I want to offer you encouragement for when you are battling the thought of praying for someone that has hurt you.
God sees. He sees and He is big enough to handle your raw feelings and emotions. Tell Him all about your pain. God knows what you are thinking anyways. You don’t have to hide them or pretend you feel differently. It’s ok to not be ok with the harm others have caused you. However, after you tell God all about your pain, humbly pray for your offender – asking God to bless them. And, it is ok to tell God you are having a hard time praying for the ones that have hurt you.
The more time we spend time with the Lord in prayer, washing His feet with our tears, He offers a great exchange. He will fill us with the fruits of the Spirit and transform us into who He wants us to be. We need to stand on the truth of who Christ is and who we are in Him.
Only by His grace,
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