Mark 11:23-5; Matthew 6:14-15
Prayer models and principles can be helpful in understanding how to walk in freedom. They are never to replace the leadership of the Holy Spirit and are to one of many ways to pray.
Ask God, “Who have I not forgiven?”
(Wait for God to bring you a name or a face. Go with the first name you see or hear)
Remember “What do I think this person has stolen from me or what do I think he/she owes me?” (Writing this list down might be helpful - it is important to know exactly what you are thinking about the person, so that you can identify the specific thoughts/actions that need to be released and forgiven.)
Recognize God’s grace that is continually being extended to you, as you ask Him to forgive you when you sin against Him and others. Praise God for who you are, as His child - you dead to self and fully alive in Him. (This gives you God’s perspective on the offense and empowers you with the will to forgive from your heart. Whenever it becomes hard again to forgive, return to this principle. It is out of experiencing God’s grace that we have the power to extend grace.)
Repent of your sin of bitterness towards the person. If needed, renounce any lies that you have lived in agreement with and break the power of evil spirits that might have gained access to your life through un-forgiveness, retaliation, revenge, anger or hatred. (Commit to asking the person to forgive you if you have responded poorly to the offense and they are aware of your sinful response)
Release the person from every debt. Tell God that you choose to forgive the person who hurt you. (Working through your detailed list, release the person from every offense and expectation and deliberately hand them over to God.)
Ask God to forgive them as well. To not hold their sin against them but rather to bless them with His mercy, grace and compassion!
Rejoice in God’s forgiving power released in you today! Rejoice in God’s transforming power at work within the person you forgave!
Walking in Daily Forgiveness
When negative thoughts tempt me, I will choose to pray out loud…
“I choose not to entertain these negative thoughts about ______. I choose to be dead to self (my rights) and alive in Christ. I praise You as my Deliverer, Defender and merciful Judge. I ask you to bless _______ with grace and mercy. Reveal Yourself to them, show them Your love and abundant plans. Soften their hearts to all you are doing in them. Lord prosper them!
Forgiveness starts with a deliberate choice on my part, which is followed up by a continual renewal of my thought process. This takes time and needs to be intentional.
- Meditating often on how God has forgiven me
- Walking humbly and prayerfully in the Spirit
- Dying to all my rights and privileges daily
- Recognizing I am secure, fully accepted & significant to God. He is my only Defender
- As vengeful, hateful and lying thoughts tempt me, I am aware of them and quickly seek God and think of God’s truths and His perspective on the situation.
- Soon God’s thoughts & perspective become mine
- I also ask God to forgive the person because I don’t want them to live under the judgement of sin but in the mercy of God, receiving grace from Him and me
- Acting kindly towards the person helps me develop God’s tender heart for the person and gives me tangible opportunities to bless them
Eventually these constant pure thoughts of God will result in emotions of God’s unconditional love and acceptance for the person.
“Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you were called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” Colossians 3:12-15