The Powerful Thing That Happens When You Say A Prayer For Forgiveness
Sometimes, there is someone we know we need to forgive, but we are finding it especially difficult because of the level of hurt they’ve inflicted, or because of their own unrepentance. In these instances, we need to turn to prayer for help, asking God to give us feelings of love and forgiveness for this person for whom we just cannot feel that way on our own.
The Bible also commands us to love our enemies and to pray for those who have hurt us. And it doesn’t mean that we should pray for harm to come to them, but instead that their hearts may be turned to God.
Whether that ever happens or not, one of the key benefits of us praying for help to forgive others is that our own heart will grow closer to God’s heart in love and compassion for those who are the subjects of our prayers. This happens in two ways.
The first way that this change in our own attitude comes about is that we are usually praying for the person to understand their own faults and to feel true remorse. As these prayers are answered, the guilty person will confess and apologize and try to mend the relationship. When they take these actions, we’ll find it much easier to forgive them and have compassion for their own healing and spiritual needs.
The second way our prayers for others brings about a change in our own hearts is truly a supernatural work of God. As we pray, we are bringing our hearts in alignment with His. And as a loving Father and Creator, God loves and forgives all of His children. As we grow more like Him through spending time in prayer, we’ll find that our attitudes are softening toward them and a godly love for them is beginning to grow in our own hearts.
We see in Scripture many instances where Jesus was moved with compassion for the sinful multitudes, and prayed “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Many people can’t understand how Jesus would pray such a prayer for those who were in the very process of killing Him, but the more we strive to reflect His character in our lives, the more we’ll be able to understand and share those feelings of compassion for those who’ve sinned against us. That’s the powerful thing that will happen to us when we say a prayer of forgiveness for others.