I had said in Part 1 of this topic that I am referring to “Forgiveness”. When I started this blog I had planned to write approx every other day or so. I am writing Part 2 on the same day as Part 1 because I am very passionate about others understanding what true forgiveness is, how to do it, and how it can impact your life.
As I said in Part 1, my pastor had given me a book to read called “Forgiveness- Gods Master Key : Pray the most powerful prayer on earth ” By Peter Horrobin. There is a picture link on my main blog page, just click it and it will take you to amazon if you want the book. I started to read it as a respect to my pastor who has helped me immeasurably. I should warn you that some the stories shared in the book are about real people
To start, I want to say that I have had a lot varied hurts in my life. I have unfortunately gained “earned authority” in a lot of painful aspects of life, physical, spiritual and emotional. While trying to really heal from all of it , I have learned that topic of forgiveness is probably the most important thing for a Christian to understand, and work on.
As I stated before there are some things about forgiveness that I’ve learned (please see The “F” Word Part 1) and I am still learning. Back to my story, so , I took the book home and read it in a couple hours. I cried…a lot. In the book Peter give stories of real people with real hurts. These stories resonated with me a great deal as they were very similar to things I have experienced. These stories also made me very upset (anger is an understatement). My husband asked me why I kept reading the book and I explained that although the stories were sad and upsetting, the outcome of the lives of these people gave me great hope.
Many of the people in the book had health issues, emotional issues, and spiritual issues. However, all of them got healed up by forgiving others. As I said before, there are steps to forgiving others and actually being freed from the bondage of un-forgiveness. Here are the steps I went through.
First, Pray to the Lord to help you identify hurts that you need to get rid of and areas of your life you need to forgive yourself and others for. Ask him to reveal things to you that he wants you to address. God will bring to your mind things you may not realise are an issue or things you stuffed away. Ask him to protect you through the process as well.
Second, Write a List of all the hurts that come to mind and the people associated with them. First names are good, and just a couple words to remind yourself as to what the issue is.
Third, Start going through the list. Now, if you can do this with your pastor or Christian counsellor I suggest that. But, if its you and you alone, then get your bible and ask God to help you through it. If you have a really solid relationship with your spouse you may be able to do it with them, but I caution you with this because sometimes spouses say they will help but really are not healthy or able to handle this type of information. That’s why professionals like Christian counsellors and pastors, ministers etc. are the best bet because they deal with it all the time.But the ultimate counsellor is God. Warning! do not go to a friend! As well meaning and great as they can be, they are not bound to you in the way God is, or even your spouse.
Fourth, Read out loud each person and thing. So when doing this, I was in my pastors office at the church, in private. If you gotta do it on your own, then find a place that is private and no one will interrupt you or hear you. The car at the park or even in the garage (not on of course) is a great spot. You can even lock people out!
Fifth, Ask the Lord to forgive you of any wrong doing you may have been part of and for blaming him in any way for the bad things that have happened in your life. This includes things like pre-marital sex as you played a part (if consensual) and even though you may have even married the person that causes pain and hurt as it isn’t biblical. So ask the Lord to forgive you for whatever wrong you have possibly done. Ask
Sixth, Let the Lord know you CHOOSE to forgive the person and yourself. ” Lord I choose to forgive _______ for ________. I ask you to help me walk in forgiveness”. Then ask him to break any negative soul ties you have to that person and what happened. Ask him to I quote : ” In Jesus name I ask Lord that you set me free from any ungodly influence that ______ has had in my life, and break any negative soul ties I have with __________ and give back to __________ what is theirs and me what is mine, and send any negative spirit to wherever you send them, in Jesus name Amen.” Sound weird, I know , but this is what I was taught to say and exactly what my pastor did. No, we are not crazy or from some weird cult or religious group. Just normal Free Methodists.
Seven, Ask him to heal you spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Ask him to heal you from the inside out and to make you whole again. Thank him for what he will do,and has done.
Lastly , Ask the Lord to forgive them. Yep you read right. Its the prayer that matters most. So much so, that it is what Jesus said on the cross before he died. “Forgive them they know not what they do” Luke 23:34.
I didn’t get it at first. But then I realised only by praying that God forgives them are you actually releasing your claim on that hurt. By asking him to forgive them you are saying to God that you trust him to pass judgement on them and that you trust him to seek justice for you.
I realised that although I prayed and “said” I forgave those that hurt me, i had in the back of my mind the rationale that ” I will forgive you because your gonna get yours sooner or later when you stand before God, hahaha” So I viewed it as really not letting them have any chance of getting away with it. Romans 14: 10-12 ” You then, why do you judge your brother or sister? or why do you treat them with contempt? for we will all stand before God’s judgement seat. As surely as I live’ says the Lord,’ every knee shall bow before me, every tongue will confess to God. So, then each of us shall give account of himself to God”.
But, by asking the Lord to forgive them, I am actually asking the Lord to give them the same chance to repent and be saved as me, which means if they could do that, then God no longer would hold the sins against them if they were truly repentant just like me. This means I could only pray this prayer if I really meant to let it all go and was willing to run the chance that those who hurt me could be saved. At first I was thought ” that sucks! they hurt me and I have to pray for their forgiveness”. Then I thought of Jesus, who went willingly to the cross for those that tortured and hated him (all he preached was love and kindness yet they despised him) and me, and who still in his dying moments prayed for all of us to be forgiven.
He was perfect, did nothing to others to hurt them. He had no blame. I cannot say the same, I know I have hurt others. He owed absolutely nothing to anyone.No one would have faulted him if he had asked God to smite them, or send an army of angels to wipe them off the planet (we know he could so as in Matthew 26:53 “Or do you think I cannot call my Father , and that he would send me more than twelve legions of angels right now?”). But, he chose to forgive us.
Since, the bible says that I have to forgive if I want the same courtesy. Then I have to forgive. So I prayed for all who hurt me. The beauty is that now the choice of their life is up to them, and if they choose the Lord then them and those they are around will be happier and healthier, if they don’t choose the Lord , then they seal their own fate, but I get to be free and healed up.
I have gone through the process I described and I have prayed for God to forgive and I keep doing so when I am hurt by others. I can say that my health is already improving, my marriage is improving, my relationship with my child is better, my mood is better, my social anxiety is better. I even have noticed a reduction in migraines and my weight finally started to come off after praying that prayer. I had been stuck, unable to lose a pound before. Even when actively trying. I am not health completely yet, but I anticipate I will be. At least to whatever level God has planned. I continue to work on forgiveness, but I find praying that God forgives them to be very freeing. I feel like a weight is being lifted every time I pray it. I also have found that many of the memories about things that have happened are either gone ( I mean I really can’t remember what the person did) or I no longer experience the pain , shame, rejection or whatever it is that I used to feel. This is so true, that things I never spoke to anyone about except my pastor I can discuss with my husband and certain others. I tried re-writing my list and actually could not recall who or what things hurt me. Amazing isn’t it ! I believe if other Christians really aim at truly forgiving others they will experience a better Christian life in all aspects. I hope you have gained insight and courage to address any un-forgiveness in your own life. I hope you seek being healed by God. He is a wonderful God.