The Importance of Forgiveness in Relationships
Matthew 18:21-22 [TPT] Later Peter approached Jesus and said, “How many times do I have to forgive my fellow believer who keeps offending me? Seven times?” Jesus answered, “Not seven times, Peter, but seventy times seven times! Or “seventy-seven times.” This is a comparison for an attitude of forgiveness that is limitless. Forgiveness is vital in our relationships because of Jesus’ blood at Calvary.
Jesus taught us that we are to forgive those who hurt us, pray for those who spitefully use us, and bless those who curse us (see Matthew 5:44). That is hard. But there is something harder: being full of hatred, bitterness, and resentment. If you want freedom, choose to allow God to work forgiveness in you and pray this prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for the riches of Your kindness, forbearance, and patience, knowing that Your kindness has led me to repentance (Rom. 2:4). I confess that I have not extended that same patience and kindness toward others who have offended me, but instead I have harbored bitterness and resentment. I pray that during this time of self-examination You would bring to my mind those people whom I need to forgive in order that I may do so (Mat. 18:35).
In the name of Jesus, I choose to forgive as I have been forgiven. I now choose to forgive ___________. I forgive him/her for everything he/she said or did, including _____________ (in forgiving from the heart, we need to identify what we felt as a result of that person’s actions.)
I release any right I have retained to bring revenge. He/she owes me nothing. I balance the books between us. I release him/her from my hands and place them into Your hands, Jesus, my Just Judge. I break every curse I have sent to them and call forth a blessing instead. Thank You for the grace to forgive and the power to live in freedom.
Lord, I release all these people/person to You. I choose not to hold onto any bitterness or anger. I ask You to heal any wounding to my heart or to my damaged emotions. I renounce any and all soul ties, and I break the power of their hold over me. I receive peace in every area of unrest or turmoil caused by unforgiveness. By Your grace I will seek peace and pursue it. Thank You for working forgetfulness over time as You heal me completely and bring all things to my good because I do love You. I ask You to build a stronghold of compassion and love within me. In Jesus' mighty name, Amen.
Pastor Greg Volich