A significant part of inner healing prayer is forgiving others. Unforgiveness keeps us in bondage to the other person and hinders us from walking in the fullness that God has for us. Forgiving others sets us free and allows God to work redemptive purposes in the person who wounded us.
Forgiveness is not:
Pretending something didn’t happen
Making a conscious choice of our will to forgive
Choosing to see the other person through Jesus’ eyes
Releasing our pain to the Lord and trusting Him to heal our heart
Praying blessing for the one who wounded us
There was a man who deeply wounded my family and me when I was growing up. A number of years ago, I had been processing this with a prayer counselor and yet didn’t feel fully free. In desperation one day, I cried out to the Lord, “How do you see this man?” In that moment, God gave me a vision of meeting this man in heaven. The atmosphere was so full of love, healing, peace and grace. I could see sorrow in the eyes of this man for what he had done, but not guilt, shame or condemnation. It was a very healing picture for me.
Because this man was not a believer when I knew him, I assumed at first that in the intervening years someone must have brought him to the Lord. However, God began to show me that I had the privilege of praying this man into the kingdom! This is why God asks us to pray for our enemies! Maybe no one else would pray for this man. I’m looking forward to meeting him one day in heaven.
Who is God prompting you that you need to forgive? Here’s a great forgiveness exercise from the book “Set Yourself Free” by Robert Heidler (To purchase your own copy of this wonderful book, go to www.gloryofzion.org)
On a separate sheet of paper, list in one column those who have hurt you. In the second column write how they hurt you. Then go through the list praying this prayer over each person and situation:
I forgive you______________________ for___________________________.
As an act of my will I choose not to hold you accountable for these things. I give up my right to think about them, speak about them, vindicate myself or seek retaliation. I fully and freely release you and set you free for the Lord to deal with in His grace. By the grace I’ve found in Jesus, I now declare you to be forgiven.