The three most powerful words...
“You are forgiven” are the three most difficult, freeing and powerful words ever spoken. I know. I have been there, truly I have. I have been absolutely paralyzed by the fact that I did not think I could ever forgive a particular person for what he had done to me, and not only to me, but to those I loved so dearly. For years I thought I was free, at least for myself, but felt it was unthinkable to “let him off the hook” for the ones I loved. I felt as if I was betraying their pain by forgiving him. And then one day something happened, and it became apparent that I was not the least bit free, not from any of it. Not for me or for them.
But God, in His great mercy showed me the lies that I had believed about forgiveness*.
That I had to do it all by myself. That I had to forgive him. And I knew that I could not. I truly wanted to be able to do that, but it was as if I were on one side of a huge mountain and I had to walk through a dark, winding, narrow, scary passageway to get to the light on the other side and I knew that I did not have the strength nor the know how to do it, so I just didn’t even try. The enemy is so good at keeping us from the light of freedom. He always deals in fear and darkness.
God showed me that all I had to do was be willing to go there, and HE would DO ALL THE REST. He would carry me through. He would forgive when I could not. I just needed to give my feelings to Him, to release them into his far more capable hands and let Him deal with the rest. That was all I had to do. It wasn’t scary. Actually, it was absolutely joyously freeing! And when I did...sweet release, light and peace.
I honestly thought by holding onto unforgiveness I was doing my loved ones a “favor” as I was showing them that we were all in it together and that somehow this comunale pain was good for us. I thought that it bonded us together and made us stronger.
Boy was that ever a lie. Holding onto unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping in some strange way, that the other person will die. It was killing all of us. Holding onto unforgiveness never helps anyone -- EVER! If you want to bond, bond over being set free! Move forward! Don’t let the enemy lie to you. If you are holding onto unforgiveness you are in BONDAGE. This does NOT make you stronger. It paralyzes and poisons you. Be the first to get set free, and then pray that others will follow in your courageous path of light and life.
I realized these truths about forgiveness after I went to a healing prayer seminar expecting to learn how to pray for a friend who was dying of cancer. I discovered that I was in as bad of shape as she was, only my “cancer” was not noticeable on a CAT scan, because it was eating away at my soul. The speaker said this: “If you cannot ask the person that you are holding unforgiveness against for forgiveness, you are not truly free.”
“How dare he!” I thought! “He has no idea what I have been through.” But the truth is, it does not matter the size of the hurt or the offense. If you are harboring unforgiveness, you are not free.
Get free! This prayer called the “Four Way Forgiveness Prayer” was taught to me at Christian Healing Ministries. I have prayed it many times for myself and with countless other people. I pray it will in some way help you too. If, in the process, you discover you need to go to confession, don’t wait, get free! Confession is like a spiritual spa treatment- exfoliates all the bad and slathers on the grace. God bless you. And may you be set truly free!
"Therefore, if the Son has set you free, then you will truly be free.” John 8:36
Four-Way Forgiveness Prayer
Part 1. Hold up to the Lord all the things about the person that troubles you.
Place your hands in a cup position. Now take one of your hands and pile up in the other hand everything that you hold against the person who is troubling you. Name them, each one, out loud if possible. For example, if it is your father, list and name those things that upset you about him. Perhaps it’s his temper, or lack of attentiveness, his harsh words or failure to love or appreciate you or your family members. Perhaps he was an alcoholic or workaholic. Name them all.
When you are finished, turn your hands over and brush them off and release them completely to the Lord.
Pray: “I give you this person and these deeds as they are too much for my humanity to bear and I know that You can handle them far better than I can. I release them to You and Your good keeping. I ask that You pour Your love and healing power through them. I thank You Lord that you have the power and grace to redeem them. I ask You, Lord Jesus, to lift all of the pain and hurt that has been involved in each one of these things from my mind, heart and spirit. I ask that you would lift the burden of these things from my shoulders. I give all of this to You Lord and I trust You to deal with them. Thank You Lord for taking each one of these things. Amen.
Part 2: Hold up to the Lord all of the things about you that trouble this person.
Place your hands together again and now pile up in one hand all of the things about yourself that may trouble the person you are forgiving. List them out loud if possible. (Even if the person is now dead, still do it.) For example, if the person was unloving to you, did you retaliate? Were you unloving back? Did you withhold forgiveness from him/her or fail to do good in any way? What about his/her sin caused you to sin? Now turn your hands over and release everything to the Lord. Brush them off.
Pray: Lord Jesus, I ask that You pour Your love and healing power over all of these things. I ask that You to take them and I thank You for taking them from me, dealing with them, and releasing this burden from me. I trust You to heal this hurt and pain. Thank You for setting me free. Amen.
Part 3: Hold up to the Lord your heart’s desire for this person.
Once again, place your hands together and now place in them all the things you want for the Lord to do for this person. For example, say: “Lord, this is my dad and I want for you to bless him and heal him and make him a whole person. I desire for there to be unity in my family and peace for all, etc.” Now turn your hands over and release them to the Lord, sending them off to Him.
Pray: Lord, I give You (name) to You. I thank You that you are able to handle him far better than I can. I know I cannot fix him, only You can. Please bring about your perfect will for (name) and let your love pour into him and your healing power flow over him. I release him into your good care. Amen.
Part 4: Hold up to the Lord your heart’s desire for yourself.
Lastly, cup your hands and place in them all the good things you would like for the Lord to do for you, your heart’s desire for yourself. For example: “I want to be free from the anxiety of this situation. I would love to feel peace and confidence as I go from this day forward. I would like to walk in light and love and be able to extend grace to this person, etc.” Now turn your hands over and release yourself to the Lord sending it all off to Him. We do this because, believe it or not, we cannot even fix ourselves, only He can.
Pray: Lord, I release these things to You and I ask that you pour Your love, mercy and grace into them. I thank You that I can trust You with these things. Please surround me with Your heavenly angels. Help me to know how much you love and care for me.
I ask this in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
*Forgiveness does not always mean "restoration of a relationship". Healthy boundaries in every relationship are wise. Pray and see where you need to draw yours. Want to know more? Try reading BOUNDARIES.
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