Prayer to Forgive Others
Prayer Request for Forgiveness and Confessions
As human beings, there are times we fall short, and we commit acts against other human beings that we end up regretting in the end.
Have you ever said something mean to someone only to instantly regret it moments later? Have you been disrespectful to your parents, or told a lie to get something? These are all things that God does not to see his children do. When we commit a sin we must seek forgiveness.
The best way to seek forgiveness from your Holy Father is to ask the Lord to bear all transgressions of yourself and that of other people through prayer.
God loves us no matter what, but He does expect us to be responsible for our mistakes. By talking to God through prayer, this allows Him to know that you accept your mistakes, accept His mercy, and that you will seek Him in the future at all times, in all things.
If the need for forgiveness is what you are seeking most, whether in your own life, or in the life of someone you love, let us pray for you at the holiest place on earth, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
We have faith that sending your prayer to the place where our Lord Jesus Christ gave his life for us will help your request be granted! It is our honor and privilege to be a prayer warrior for you, and to ask the Lord to watch over you, protect you, and keep you, always. Please submit your prayer request today.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” John 1:9
Prayer for Personal Forgiveness
Lord, there are no words to express how horrible I feel every time I break Your heart. The guilt and the shame is overwhelming when I allow myself to do so. I ask for Your touch right now, and for Your forgiveness for all I’ve done.
I am so sick of being “born again” and still doing the things I hate doing. The hardness of allowing myself to do wrong is a barrier between the two of us that I can’t stand. I love You, and I am so regrettably sorry for my selfish actions against You and all others.
Thank You for Your forgiveness, Lord. With Your forgiveness I am whole again, and new. Amen.
Prayer for Forgiving Others
Holy Father, I can’t seem to shake the harm that’s been done to me from my thoughts. I am drowning in the anger I feel. Lord, I shouldn’t think the vengeful thoughts that I currently find myself having.
You have called me to forgive every single person that wrongs me, but I need Your strength to overcome these trespasses against me. Father, I want to forgive those who have done wrong.
I want to forgive them completely so that You can use me however You wish, and to be a loving example of You towards them. I ask that you take this burden from me. Do with me as you please Father. Amen.
Prayer for New Life
Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from You. I am truly sorry, and I want to turn away from my past sinful life, drawing my eyes toward You. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again.
I believe that your son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, and to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward.
Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Your precious name I pray, Amen.
Prayer for Hope and Forgiveness
Heavenly Father, from whom comes the beauty of each new day and every newborn child, I want to thank You for Your everlasting forgiveness and eternal hope.
You turn the pages of our lives, filling our days with forgiveness, erasing our transgressions, and encouraging us to try again.
You are the author of life, who brings fresh expectation into each day, for all of your treasured children. Lord, flood this heart of mine with your hope.
Prayer for Dedication and Forgiveness Towards Others
Father, I ask to be called as a witness to your love by the love I extend to others, and as a precursor of Your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good.
May I lead a compassionate, righteous life with Your unfailing love by my side. I want to reflect the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion towards all.
I long to be a dedicated servant in all that I do, and all that I am. Amen.
Prayer for Forgiveness of Adultery
Father, You are the God of Restoration, redeeming us from the pit which eternally lies below for everyone who rejects You. Yet, I feel rejected as my spouse is cheating and it breaks my heart into a million pieces.
Please help me Father, in this great time of heartache. Help me to be able to continue in this marriage in the hopes that we can both be reconciled to one another, and seek forgiveness.I know that my spouse is not really happy inside and that the passing pleasures of sin are fleeting, but they cannot suppress their conscience for very long.
I ask that You move my spouse to confess their sin, to be convicted of their sin, and to repent of their sin with the passionate desire that we can be reconciled to one another. You are the answer to our time of great need, conviction, and forgiveness. Amen.
Prayer for Forgiveness of Sins and Healing
Lord, I need your help and your insight more than ever. Today I have gained a better understanding of forgiving others and with your help; I fully forgive from my heart. Just as you have freely forgiven me, I forgive them.
Father, I ask you to forgive me for hurting others my own hurt and to heal my relationships with those that I care about. I pray all of this in Jesus’ precious name and by whom all forgiveness and healing has been made possible. Thank you for loving me in ways I’ll never comprehend.
I am so thankful to have You in my life, and to call you Father.
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”” Acts 3:19
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Corinthians 5:17
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” Ephesians 1:7
Praying to Forgive Yourself, God, and Others
I struggled with forgiving my mother for years. Even after I became an adult she continued to be abusive, and I had to forgive her on a daily basis. Sometimes I stayed away from her and just let my dad deal with her by himself.
Unfortunately she turned her anger toward him. When he became ill with a lung infection, instead of trying to help him, she would prepare her own meals and eat them in front of him withfering him anything.
She said if he was hungry he could get up and get his own food.
When I found out all of this, I was very upset with her. What a turn of events. I had spent all those years trying to forgive her for being cruel to me, and now I had to forgive her for the way she treated my dad.
There certainly didn’t seem to be any way to change the situation. We’d tried to get my father to hospitalize my mother, but when he came to sign the papers, he couldn’t do it.
He still hoped that someday she would return to being the person he thought he had married.
Lord, I prayed, I know my mother is mentally ill and doesn’t really know what she is doing. But there is still something in me that thinks she does and that makes me mad. I again ask You to give me a forgiving heart toward her.
The Lord answered that prayer time and again as each new offense brought more reasons to forgive. I know that I never could have heard God’s leading for my life if my heart and mind had been clouded with unforgiveness.
Stairway to Wholeness
Forgiveness leads to life. Unforgiveness is a slow death.
Not forgiving someone doesn’t jeopardize your salvation and keep you Heaven, but it does mean you won’t enjoy all that God has for you. And you may find yourself wandering around outside the center of God’s will.
The first step to forgiving is to receive God’s forgiveness and let its reality penetrate the deepest part of your being. When we realize how much we have been forgiven, it’s easier to understand that we have no right to pass judgment on one another.
Being forgiven and released from everything we’ve ever done wrong is such a miraculous gift, how could we refuse to obey God when He asks us to forgive others as He has forgiven us? Easy! We focus our thoughts on the person who has wronged us rather than on the God who makes all things right.Forgiveness is a two-way street: God forgives you, and you forgive others. God forgives you quickly and completely upon your confession of wrongdoing. You are to forgive others quickly and completely, whether they admit failure or not. Most of the time people don’t feel they’ve done anything wrong anyway, and if they do, they certainly don’t want to admit it to you.
Forgiveness is a choice that we make.
We base our decision not on what we feel doing but on what we know is right. I did not feel forgiving my mother. Instead I chose to forgive her because God’s Word says,
Forgive, and you will be forgiven. — Luke 6:37
That verse also says that we shouldn’t judge if we don’t want to be judged ourselves.
I had to understand that God loves my mother as much as He loves me. He loves all people as much as He loves me. He loves the murderer, the rapist, the prostitute, and the thief. And He hates all of their sins as much as He hates ours.
He hates murdering, raping, whoring, and stealing as much as He hates pride, gossiping, and unforgiveness. We may sit and compare our sins to other people’s and say, “Mine aren’t so bad,” but God says they all stink, so we shouldn’t worry about whose smell the worst.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to forgiving is that forgiveness doesn’t make the other person right; it makes you free.
Forgiving Yourself and God
While forgiving others is crucial, forgiveness is also needed in two other areas. One area is forgiving yourself. So many of us think, I should be achieving this; I should be this kind of person; I should have done more than I have by this time in my life. I certainly was burdened by these kinds of thoughts.
God is the only one who is perfect. We have to be able to say, “Self, I forgive you for not being perfect, and I thank You, God, that You are right now making me into all that You created me to be.”
Some of us have to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made. Before I came to know the Lord, I wasted my life doing drugs, dabbling in the occult, and getting involved in unhealthy relationships.When I was finally able to forgive myself, I realized that God could use even those experiences for His glory. I am now able to speak into the lives of women who have committed these same errors.
They see that what God has helped me to overcome is possible for them too.
Besides forgiving others and yourself, you must also check to see if you need to forgive God. If you’ve been mad at Him, say so.
“God, I’ve been mad at You ever since my brother was killed in that accident.”
“God, I’ve been mad at You since my baby died.”
“God, I’ve been mad at You ever since I didn’t get that job I prayed for.”
Be honest. You won’t crush God’s ego. Release the hurt and let yourself cry. Tears are freeing and healing. Say, “Lord, I confess my hurt and my anger, and my hardness of heart toward You. I no longer hold that against You.”
Forgiveness is ongoing because once you’ve dealt with the past, constant infractions occur in the present. None of us get by without having our pride wounded or being manipulated, offended, or hurt by someone.
Each time that happens it leaves a scar on the soul if not confessed and dealt with before the Lord. Besides that, unforgiveness also separates you from people you love.
They sense a spirit of unforgiveness, even if they can’t identify it, and it makes them uncomfortable and distant.
You may be thinking, I don’t have to worry about this because I have no unforgiveness toward anyone. But forgiveness also has to do with not being critical of others. It has to do with keeping in mind that people are often the way they are because of how life has shaped them.I began to truly forgive my mother when I realized how difficult her childhood had been and what problems she had faced as she grew to adulthood. We all need to remember that God is the only one who knows the whole story, and therefore we never have the right to judge. Being chained in unforgiveness keeps you from the healing, joy, and restoration that are there for you.
Being released into the future God has for you means letting go of all that has happened in the past.
To Forgive Yourself
Lord, I know that You have forgiven me for my sins of _______. I thank You for Your unconditional love and grace. I am truly repentant and wish to overcome these tendencies. Now, Father, help me forgive myself. Erase my guilt and create a new heart within me.
To Forgive God
Lord, I admit that I am upset with You because of _______.
Help me see things from Your perspective. I know You are a good God and have my best interests in mind at all times. Forgive me for holding this against You. Heal me of my disappointment.
To Forgive Others
Lord, _________ has hurt me in this way: _________. I do not understand why this has happened, but I know that You want me to forgive (him/her). Help me walk in (his/her) shoes and understand what would make (him/her) do or say this. Help me be completely released from all un- forgiveness.
Tools of Truth
And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. — Mark 11:25
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. — Ephesians 4:31–32
Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. — Luke 6:37
He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. — 1 John 2:10-11
Excerpted with permission from Praying God’s Will for Your Life by Stormie Omartian, copyright Stormie Omartian.
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Forgiveness isn’t automatic! But, since we want wholeness in Jesus Christ, we’ve got to pray our way through hurt, offense, and anger. Who do you need to forgive today? Come share with us on our blog. Let’s pray together to be freed!
7 Prayers For Forgiveness and Repentance
Forgiveness and repentance go hand-in-hand in a Christian’s life. We must learn to always forgive others and to ask for forgiveness ourselves. Without repentance, we are liable of judgment from God.
If we withhold forgiveness to others, forgiveness will also be withheld from us. Here are 7 prayers focusing on forgiveness and repentance.
May we all strive to live as holy as possible by allowing the Spirit to convict us of our sins and to forgive others that sin against us.
There are no words to express how filthy I feel every time I break Your heart. The guilt and the shame are overwhelming! Lord, I need Your touch right now. I am so sick of being “born again” and still doing the things I hate doing. Paul, I am conflicted.
“For I do not do what I want, but do the very thing that I hate.” (Romans 7:15) I am so sorry! Father, I ask for Your forgiveness right now. I am shocked that my life has come to a point where even some sins don’t affect me at all.
Father, I have some hard layers on my heart that need peeling. Please give me a 100% heart of flesh. The hardness is a barrier between us that I can’t stand! I love You and I am so regrettably sorry for my selfish actions. Thank You for Your forgiveness, Lord.
Without forgiveness I am nothing. With Your forgiveness I am whole again. I praise Your Name! Amen
Strength To Forgive Others
With Your forgiveness I am whole again. I praise Your Name! Amen
I can’t seem to shake the harm that’s been done to me off my shoulders. I am wallowing in the anger I feel. Lord, I shouldn’t think the vengeful thoughts that I have. You have called me to forgive every single person that wrongs me. I need Your strength to overcome these trespasses against me. Father, I want to forgive these people.
Please cast the devil’s evil ways from me. I want to look at these people and see lost souls that need You. I want to forgive them completely so that You can use me however You wish, to be Jesus to them. Father, I am done with holding these grudges! Forgive me for holding on to them. I cast this burden at Your throne now. Do with me as you please Father.
I love You and thank you for Your patience with me. Amen
Why do You forgive us? We shout praises to You when we sing worship. With the same tongue we curse other people that are made in Your image. (James 3:9 reference) Why do You forgive us? We say we love You and still keep sinning.
Why do You forgive us? We spend time in prayer thanking You for your blessings and then we refuse to bless others. Why do You forgive us? We read our Bibles when we make time for it, but we also read other nonsense that is offensive to You.Why do You forgive us? We praise Jesus for His death on the cross for the atonement of our sins and then we nail Him to it again every time we trespass against You. Why do You forgive us every single time? I am so thankful for your endless supply of forgiveness! I can’t fathom how You do it, for I am only one man.
You do this for every single person! The compassion and grace and mercy that flow from You is absolutely amazing and I love You for it! Thank you so much for forgiving me every time I sin! You are worthy to be praised! Amen
Repentance From Unbelievers
Father in heaven,
My heart grieves for those close to me that do not want to know You. They are lost souls wandering wherever the devil takes them. They are fulfilling their own desires of the flesh instead of yearning for the life that You give.
Father, use me or anyone that You please to show Christ- love to them. Father, I love these men and women and to think of them in eternal torment is tormenting me! I pray that the seeds that are planted in them Lord will be grown by You.
You make miracles happen every day and I pray that You make one today in the lives of the lost. I praise Your Holy Name! Amen
Forgiveness For Children
Just as Job continually offered burnt offerings to you for the forgiveness of his children, (Job 1:5) I am praying for the forgiveness of mine. Lord, only You know what they have done. If they have sinned against You I pray that You would forgive them.
I pray that they would seek repentance to make things right with You. Lord, if there is any sin that needs to be forgiven, I pray that You would soften their hearts and bring them safely into Your arms of grace and mercy.
I thank you for Your unlimited love for us! Amen
You are all-powerful! Even Your thoughts produce action. I pray for our leaders in the government. Lord, they also have power, though it is limited. I pray that they would use their positions wisely, for You are the One who has allowed them to lead us. We need strong men and women of faith in these kinds of roles.
I pray that our men and women in authority will strive to live godly lives and to repent when necessary. As in Animal Farm, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” If there is any corruption, I pray that our leaders would repent and ask for forgiveness, so that our country doesn’t fall apart.
I thank you for our leaders and pray for their safety. I love you Father! Amen
I pray for pastors around the world. If there is any un-confessed sin active in their lives, I pray that You would bring them to the deepest valleys if that is what it takes to get them back on the narrow path. We need strong pastors leading our congregations.
I pray that You would use the people closest to their pastors to keep them accountable, Lord. Accountability is a must in every Christian’s life. I thank you for our pastors, Lord, for they have a huge role to play here on earth.
They have many big responsibilities and I am so grateful that they accept the challenges of pastoring. I love You, Lord! Amen
Forgiveness is absolutely necessary in a Christian’s walk with the Lord. “Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.” (Luke 11:4) God bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!
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How to ask God for forgiveness
Prayer for forgiveness is needed for every believer. Anyone who has had to apologize for knowingly or inadvertently causing harm or pain knows the feeling of relief that comes with receiving forgiveness and a free conscience.
Thanks to the prayer for forgiveness of sin, you can not only remove the heavy burden from your soul, but also see the path that you must take so that life brings joy and is full of peace.
A prayer for forgiveness from God
Father God, I kneel before You knowing that I have sinned against You in so many different ways.. in what I have said and done as well as in the dirty thoughts that flood through my mind.
I know that I am a sinner and as such I was the cause of the Lord Jesus being crucified on the cruel cross to take the punishment that I justly deserve – to pay that price for MY sins.
Lord I know that I am unworthy to come before You, but I ask Your forgiveness of all my sins, for the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ – Who died for me at Calvary.
Wash me I pray in the purifying blood of Jesus. Cleanse me from all my sins.
Fill my heart with righteous thoughts and clean desires, for I no longer want to wallow in the cesspit of sin that has for so long separated me from You.
Thank You Lord that You have promised that all who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour will have their sins forgiven forever. Praise You Lord for Your grace and mercy on me -a sinner saved by grace, in Jesus name I pray,
Kid’s prayer for forgiveness
Dear Lord Jesus, I am sorry that I have been naughty and disobeyed my parents. I know I should listen to them but sometimes I don’t want to and then I get into trouble. I don’t want to disobey but sometimes I do and I know that it makes them mad – and then they are mad with me and I am mad back at them.
Dear Jesus, please forgive me for disobeying and help me to listen to my parents next time and to do what they tell me to do. Thank You that even when I am naughty You still love me.
Thank You Jesus for dying for me on the cross and thank You for taking the punishment for my sins when I am naughty. Thank You that You rose back to life again and went to heaven so that I can be forgiven and go to heaven too. Thank You that you never stop loving me even when I do disobey and help me to be good in the future. Thank You Jesus,
Father, the weight of my sins weigh heavily on my conscience and I know that there is no righteousness in me. I come to You pleading for Your great mercy, and repent of all the many sins that I have committed against You so grievously.
Lord I confess that in my pride and arrogance I even joked about Your existence and blasphemed You in word and deed and yet I discover that You sent Your only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to be the only acceptable sacrifice to pay the price for my sins.
READ ALSO: Biblical benefits of soul winning for your inspiration
Lord I kneel before You broken in heart for the wrong that I have done against You and beg for Your grace and mercy on a pitiful sinner, who has come to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord – and that He is my Saviour and Redeemer. Wash away all my sins I pray and cleanse both my mouth and my thoughts from the filth that has poured forth from my blackened heart.Lord I come in humility of heart and brokenness of spirit and pray and thank You that in Your mercy You sent Jesus to be the price for my sins. Thank You for Your promise that all who believe in Him will not perish but have their sins forgiven and receive the free gift of eternal life.
Thank You that I have been saved by Your grace – simply by trusting in the blood of Christ, in Whose name I pray,
Prayer to forgive other people
Father, there are certain things that have recently happened to me that have been so painful that I am finding it quite difficult to forgive others – and yet I know that this is Your will for each one of Your children – knowing that forgiving others in our hearts has a beautiful secondary function, of opening up our hearts and lives to Your warming love and perfect peace.
Lord I want to forgive others, but there seems to be a sort of blockage that is causing me to hold fast to my anger and hurt. Please Father God, in Your goodness and grace, would You please help me to forgive fully, freely and forever so that I may be released from this sharp pain of unforgiveness, which seems to be holding my heart in an icy, iron grip.
Lord You have promised in Your word that Your grace is sufficient for every trial and each difficulty in life – and I trust that this means that Your grace is sufficient to bring me to that point of genuine and gracious forgiveness.
And so I cast this unforgiveness at Your feet and pray that You would forgive ME for holding onto my unforgiving heart for so long – knowing that in Christ Jesus You have forgiven me so much.
Thank You Lord for dying on the cross for me and for forgiving all my sins – thank You that Your grace is sufficient for me – in Jesus name I pray,
Your death, O Lord, we commemorate, and your resurrection we confess, and your second coming we look for; and we ask of you mercy and compassion and we implore the forgiveness of sins. Your mercies be upon us all.
Prayers for the remission of sins can rightfully be called miraculous and healing. In the process of turning to God, we completely abstract from life's fuss and all we want is the generosity of our Father, his forgiveness for our actions, thoughts and intentions, which are caused by the weakness of the spirit and inability to resist the temptations of life.
READ ALSO: Benefits of the holy spirit in a believer
Forgive Us Our What? Three Ways We Say the Lord’s Prayer
Do you know the most famous prayer on the planet? The prayer the most people on the street could recite portions of if asked? The prayer hundreds of millions of Christians of every stripe pray regularly and tens of millions of non-Christians have heard enough to repeat?
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.Give us this day our daily bread,and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:9–13)
Forgive Us Our What?
If you recite the Lord’s Prayer by memory with a group of people outside of your local church, I imagine things usually go pretty smoothly till you get to the fourth line. Some will say “forgive us our debts,” some will say “trespasses,” and others will say “sins.”
How we recite that phrase usually depends more on what English-speaking Christian tradition influenced us than what Bible translation we use. Those raised in Presbyterian or Reformed traditions are more ly to say “debts.
” Those who come from Anglican/Episcopal, Methodist, or Roman Catholic traditions are more ly to say “trespasses.
” Those whose churches were influenced by ecumenical liturgical movements of the late twentieth century are probably more ly to say “sins.”
So which word is the right one? Well, nearly all of the most credible English translations over time have translated the Greek words, opheilēma/opheiletēs, as “debts/debtors.” And that’s because in the New Testament and the Septuagint, these words almost always convey the meaning of owing a financial or moral debt or obligation.In Luke’s version of the prayer, Jesus says, “and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us” (Luke 11:4). In this case, the Greek word used for “sins” is hamartia, which in general means “sins” or “guilt.
” But since it’s paired with opheilonti (“indebted to us”) it’s still clear that Jesus had the sense of debt in mind when referring to sin in the prayer he taught his disciples.
So, saying “forgive us our sins” is not inaccurate; it just loses the nuance Jesus apparently intended.
But why do some Christian traditions say “trespasses”?
Just Read the Next Verse
If we just read down two verses we see one answer, because Jesus says,
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14–15)
The very first thing Jesus did after reciting this prayer is expound on the importance of forgiveness.
And to really drive home what he meant, he purposefully chose a different word for sin with a different nuance than the one he used in the prayer.
Matthew chose the Greek word paraptōma to capture Jesus’s intention in these verses, which in the context means a kind of sin that oversteps prescribed limits or boundaries — what we call a “trespass.”
Jesus wanted his disciples (including us) to understand sin in both the sense of owing a debt and the sense of trespassing into territory that doesn’t belong to us.
But that still doesn’t explain why some English Christian traditions use the word “trespasses” when Jesus’s actual prayer used the word “debts.”
William Tyndale’s Legacy
We have William Tyndale to thank for this. Tyndale (1494–1536) was the great English reformer who first translated the Bible into English from Hebrew and Greek texts.
Even though both Greek and Latin New Testaments used words in Matthew 6:12 that meant “debt,” and earlier church fathers ( Augustine) and translators ( Wycliffe) used “debt” language in this verse, for some reason Tyndale preferred “trespasses” (“and forgeve us oure treaspases, even as we forgeve them which treaspas us”).
Why he preferred this translation when few before or after him did is only speculation.He published his English New Testament in 1526 against the will and law of Henry VIII, and then lived in mortal danger only ten more years till he was betrayed by a friend and executed for his translation crimes.
He didn’t live long enough to make many revisions. And his preference didn’t leave its mark long in the legacy of translations — by 1611, the translators of the King James Version went back to using “debts.”
However, it certainly has left its mark in the legacy of English Christian liturgies. “Trespasses” first appeared in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer in 1549, and as of the 1979 edition it was still being used.
It became so pervasive that English Catholic churches also adopted it and they still use it, even though when prayed in Latin, the “Pater Noster” (“Our Father”) uses “debt/debtor” language (debita/debitoribus).
Forgive Us Our Trespasses
That’s why a portion of our praying group says “trespasses” when we recite the Lord’s Prayer together. And the next time it happens, we can thank God for William Tyndale, because he gave his life that we might have our English Bibles.
And though “debts” is the more accurate translation of Matthew 6:12, God does want us to keep “trespasses” in our minds when praying, especially we twenty-first-century Westerners.
Our modern understanding of “debt” might dull the edge this word had for Jesus’s original hearers. We hear it through the filters of our experience, which is different from Jesus’s audience and most of our human ancestors.
Debtors’ prisons are an archaic thing of the unenlightened past, and we don’t have kings throwing us into them (Matthew 18:23–35). We have merciful bankruptcy laws that protect us in ways inconceivable to past generations.
So “debt” might not carry for us the sense of threat it did for them.
But trespassing hits us differently, especially when someone commits it against us. A trespasser occupies a realm or exercises a right that rightfully belongs to someone else. A trespasser violates another person. This can be very damaging. In fact, it can rise to the level of treason, and result in a sentence of capital punishment.
This is what happened in the garden of Eden and what we have all done since. We have not merely borrowed from God an unpayable debt for which we appeal for bankruptcy protection. We have seized a realm and exercised a right that belongs to him. We have violated God. We have committed a treasonous trespass, and we owe the debt of treason: death (Romans 6:23).
And what Jesus has done, for those of us who trust him, is pay that terrible debt completely. And what he’s requiring of us is to forgive others who have occupied a realm and exercised a right that belongs to us, who have violated us — since we have been forgiven a far worse violation.So if “trespasses” hits closer to home for us than “debts,” it does no violence to Jesus’s meaning if we pray, Father, forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
4 Prayers for Forgiveness – For Self and Others
Whether we are seeking forgiveness for our own sins or asking God to help us forgive others, prayer is the first place to start when seeking restoration and healing. The below prayers can help guide your thoughts and words as you seek being forgiven or help in forgiving others. It is a big step to seek out forgiveness and you have taken a bold step in faith!
Before we jump into specific prayers for forgiveness, you may want to take some time to consider what God commands of us concerning forgiveness and why it's so critical to be able to forgive. Visit our article: What Does the Bible Say About Forgiveness?
Prayer to God for Forgiveness of Sins
Even while I encourage you to pray this prayer, I caution you that saying words alone will not save you. Prayer doesn’t save. Only Christ can save. But prayer can be a means of reaching out to the Lord in true saving faith. If you pray these words in faith, Christ will save you. You can be sure of that.
Lord Jesus, for too long I’ve kept you my life. I know that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. No longer will I close the door when I hear you knocking. By faith I gratefully receive your gift of salvation. I am ready to trust you as my Lord and Savior.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to earth. I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank you for bearing my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life. I believe your words are true.
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and be my Savior. Amen.
If you have prayed this prayer in sincere faith, you may want to put your initials by the prayer along with today’s date as a reminder that you have come to Christ in faith, trusting him as your Lord and Savior.
– Dr Ray Pritchard
Prayer for Forgiving Others
Dear Merciful Lord,
Thank you for your gift of forgiveness. Your only Son loved me enough to come to earth and experience the worst pain imaginable so I could be forgiven.
Your mercy flows to me in spite of my faults and failures. Your Word says to “clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” (Col.
3:14) Help me demonstrate unconditional love today, even to those who hurt me.
I understand that even though I feel scarred, my emotions don’t have to control my actions. Father, may Your sweet words saturate my mind and direct my thoughts.Help me release the hurt and begin to love as Jesus loves. I want to see my offender through my Savior’s eyes. If I can be forgiven, so can he. I understand there are no levels to your love.
We are all your children, and your desire is that none of us should perish.
You teach us to “let the peace that comes from Christ rule in our hearts.” (Col. 3:15) When I forgive in words, allow your Holy Spirit to fill my heart with peace. I pray this peace that only comes from Jesus will rule in my heart, keeping out doubt and questions. And above all, I am thankful.
Not just today, not just this week, but always. Thank you for the reminder, “Always be thankful.” (Col. 3:15) With gratitude I can draw closer to you and let go of unforgiveness. With gratitude I can see the person who caused my pain as a child of the Most High God. Loved and accepted.
Help me find the compassion that comes with true forgiveness.
And when I see the person who hurt me, bring this prayer back to my remembrance, so I can take any ungodly thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5) And may the confidence of Christ in my heart guide me into the freedom of forgiveness. I praise you for the work you are doing in my life, teaching and perfecting my faith. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
– Kristine Brown
Short Prayer to Forgive Others
Dear Lord, I thank You for the power of forgiveness, and I choose to forgive everyone who has hurt me. Help me set [name anyone who has offended you] free and release them to You [Romans 12:19].
Help me bless those who have hurt me [Romans 12:14]. Help me walk in righteousness, peace, and joy, demonstrating Your life here on earth. I choose to be kind and compassionate, forgiving others, just as You forgave me [Ephesians 4:32].
In Jesus’ name, amen.
– Debbie Przybylski
Short Prayer to Forgive Yourself
Father, today I ask forgiveness of all the negative and harmful words I have spoken about myself. I do not want to abuse myself in such a way again. Transform my thoughts and let me understand how marvelously you made me. Change my habits so I use my tongue to speak hope and favor upon my life. In Jesus' name.
– Sarah Coleman
Matthew West – Forgiveness (Official Lyric Video) from matthew-west on GodTube.
Matthew 6:14-15 – For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Isaiah 1:18 – “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be wool.
Micah 7:18-19 – Who is a God you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
Mark 11:25 – And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Colossians 3:13 – Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.Ephesians 4:31-32 – Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Luke 17:3-4 – So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
Read more Bible Verses on Forgiveness at BibleStudyTools.com
If you've been set free from sin and the hurt from others, comment below so that others can live in freedom through forgiveness too! Be a light to our online community and recieve encouragement for your own walk of faith.
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
Prayer for Healing
Prayer for Strength
Prayer for Protection
Good Night Prayers
A Birthday Prayer
Prayer for Forgiveness
Prayer for Guidance
Prayer for Peace
Prayer for Faith
Prayer for Love
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