- Jesus prayed “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
- If we choose not to forgive those who have hurt us, we put ourselves under their control. If we are under their control, we cannot be free for God to heal us and set us free.
- There is a relationship between forgiving others and being forgiven by God.
- Forgiveness has nothing to do with whether someone deserves to be
forgiven—it is an act of love, not of justice.
- Forgiveness nothing to do with trust. Trust has to be re-earned.
- When we are open to receive God’s love for us and express our own in
return, God begins to heal us from the inside out!
- The shocking truth is that if there is a limit on the number of times we are willing to forgive others, then there will also have to be a limit on the number of times God is able to forgive us—the consequences of which none of us would ever wish to contemplate!
7 Steps to Freedom
Step 1 – Make a Decision
Look back at every difficult situation there has ever been in your life and make a choice to forgive, without condition, everyone who was involved. This is your decision and yours alone. No one else can do it for you!
Step 2 – Make a List
If you have now made the choice to forgive, it is time to get out a piece of paper and start making a list. Before you get to work, pray a short prayer. You can use your own words or say something like this:
“Thank You, Jesus, for teaching me the importance of forgiving others. Please help me to remember all the people who have hurt me so that I can forgive them from my heart.”
Write the name and reason for which you need to forgive that person. Here are some areas we can examine:
1. Forgiving our parents
Thank God for all the good things that came to you through them.
Forgive them and all your ancestors for everything they’ve said or done that has had a negative effect on your life.
2. Forgiving those who have stolen part of our lives
Those who stole our money, reputation, sexuality, time, health.
3. Forgiving ourselves
Refusing to forgive yourself is choosing to punish yourself for what has happened. You don’t actually believe you deserve to be forgiven, so you hold yourself in personal condemnation.
Step 3 – Start to Forgive
Begin by praying this:
“Lord Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross that I might be forgiven. I am sorry for my own sins, and I ask You to be my Savior and the Lord of my life. And now please forgive me for the things that I have done wrong. Please help me to forgive from my heart all the people on my list.”
Then as you go down the list pray carefully over each name. Remind yourself for a moment about what it was they did to you, and then pray something like this:
“I now choose to forgive [insert the name of the person you are forgiving] for [insert a brief description of what was done to you], and I release [insert the person’s name] into the freedom of my forgiveness. I will not hold these things against [insert the person’s name] anymore.”
Step 4 – Ask God to Set You Free
You can pray this after each person or after everyone you’ve forgiven.
“Thank You, Lord, for helping me forgive [insert the name of the person you are forgiving]. I ask now that You set me free from every ungodly influence that [insert the person’s name] has had on my life and that You cut the ropes that have held me tightly to the pain of the past.”
Step 5 – Say You’re Sorry for Blaming God
“I’m sorry, God, for blaming You for the bad things that have happened in my life. I now know You did not want these things to happen either. Please forgive me.”
Step 6 – Pray the Most Powerful Prayer on Earth
So ask Jesus now to give you His love for all those who have hurt you and quietly pray:
“Father, forgive them.”
Step 7 – Expect Your Resurrection Morning
As you speak out your forgiveness to all those people whose names are on your list and then pray, “Father, forgive them,” your life will begin to be changed forever. There is a Resurrection morning coming for you as well!