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!
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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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.
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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
Tools for dropping the toxic baggage.
Letting go of a hurt can be hard. When feeling wronged it’s natural to want the perpetrator to be punished, or at least to apologize and acknowledge what they did wrong. When no apology is forthcoming, we often bear a grudge and end up being the ones who are suffering.
To help us put down our toxic baggage, the Sages, with their profound understanding of human nature, instituted a special forgiveness prayer to be said before going to bed.
In this prayer, which can be found in the Siddur, we proclaim:
“I forgive all those who may have hurt or aggravated me either physically, monetarily, or emotionally, whether unknowingly or willfully, whether accidentally or intentionally, whether in speech or in action, whether in this incarnation or another, and may no person be punished on account of me…”
Forgiveness does not mean that we condone what has been done, or that we necessarily reconcile with the person who hurt us. Sometimes this is not in our best interests. What it means is that we let go of being stuck in our own negative emotions and the wishing for whoever hurt us to be punished.
This is much easier said than done. Here are five powerful strategies that can help us let go more easily:
1. It is good for our health – Forgiving others has significant health advantages. The Stanford Forgiveness Project (2001) conducted a large-scale study on the effects of forgiveness across a number of variables. They found that forgiveness significantly reduces levels of stress, feelings of anger, feelings of hurt, and increases levels of optimism.
2. Finding meaning – One of the basic tenets of Judaism is that there is a reason for everything. Oftentimes, the life lessons that are most precious come at the greatest cost. While we would not choose to be hurt, we often learn the most about our resilience, our strengths, and what really matters to us specifically from those events that are really hard. By appreciating what we may have gained in growth, it may become easier to let go of the negativity that brought us to where we are now in our understanding of life.
3. Judgment – Realize that when we feel wronged it has a lot to do with how we perceive the actions and motives of another person. The Sages teach that we should not judge a person until we have walked in their shoes, partly because of the difficulty of judging accurately.1We need to ask ourselves if our reading of the situation is completely accurate. Perhaps things are not exactly as we imagine them to be, and even if they are, can we really understand everything that brought another to behave as they did. Do we have in front of us all the different pieces that contributed to the puzzle of that person, at that time? When we consider a bigger picture and our own limitations of grasping it, this may soften our stance and make it easier to forgive.
4. The Golden Rule – Everyone makes mistakes, including us, and the same way that we would want others to forgive us for our offences we should likewise be willing to extend forgiveness to others. We are not able to control anyone else’s behavior except for our own and we cannot make anyone own up to something they do not want to. But we can choose to take a higher road and be willing to forgive even if no apology is forthcoming.
5. Forgive Yourself – How we relate to others, and how we relate to ourselves, is often two sides of the same coin. Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is the one who looks back at us from the mirror. Whether it is for opportunities missed, mistakes made, or perceived imperfections we sometimes carry a grudge against ourselves. As a result, we may suffer feelings of low self-esteem and a host of other negative emotions. When we are more willing to forgive ourselves this can open the door to forgiving others a bit more easily. The Torah famously states that we should love our neighbor as we love ourselves. This implies that our ability to love others is based on our ability to love ourselves. Forgiving ourselves is a good place to start.
There is an amazing story about Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, the founder of the Mussar movement, that highlights the value of forgiveness. Rabbi Salanter was once traveling on a train with a young man who didn’t recognizing him, and the young traveler was incredibly rude and insulting. When they reached their destination, the young man saw the huge welcoming party that had gathered to greet his traveling companion, Rabbi Yisrael Salanter. He was horrified when he realized whom he had insulted.
He found out where Rabbi Salanter was staying and went to ask his forgiveness. Rabbi Salanter received him warmly and asked him about the nature of his trip. He replied that he came to be tested as a shochet (a ritual slaughterer). Rabbi Salanter sent him to a relative of his, who was a prominent Rabbi in the town, to be examined. The young man’s proficiency was found to be quite lacking. Rabbi Salanter hired an expert shochet to teach the young man, at his own great expense, until the young man was able to receive the certification he desired.
Rabbi Salanter was asked why he went to such lengths to help this young man, whom he hardly even knew. He replied that when he was traveling with him, he had been insulted. Although he had forgiven the young man immediately, he was concerned that perhaps his forgiveness had been incomplete, and that he had held on to a vestige of resentment. In order to counteract this, he went out of his way to act in kindness to the young man, to eradicate any ill will he may have felt toward him.
If Rabbi Salanter was willing to pay so much, he must have deemed the expense of holding on to any resentment as being even greater.
Saying the forgiveness prayer allows us to put negativity behind us at the end of each day, going to sleep with a clear mind and heart. Try reciting it each night. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
1. Pirkei Avos, 2:4