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Forgiveness may be one of the hardest things to ask for—and to give.
Asking for it means swallowing your pride, while giving it means trying to get over the pain of past injuries.
But forgiveness is also one of the best gifts that you can give and receive.
In this article, we have gathered 17 prayers for forgiveness that can help you forgive yourself and other people. We have also included prayers that can help you ask for forgiveness from God and the people you have wronged.
1. Prayer of Forgiveness from Sin
“Lord Jesus, for too long, I’ve kept You out of 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. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for coming to Earth. I believe You are the Son of God who died on the cross for the forgiveness of 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 hear my prayers for forgiveness. Amen.”
2. Prayer for Compassion
“Father, I return to You with my sins before me. I lack compassion for my brother and sisters, my eyes are clouded with wrongdoings, and my heart is against you. Opposing Your Words, I sinned and have done evil in Your eyes. I drained myself off Your kindness and followed my worldly desires. Father, guide me, as You are right in Your verdict and justified in Your judgment. Do not leave me astray, as I pray for a blissful life with You and a life free of evil. In Your Mercy, I pray. Amen.”
Source: Luke 15:18, Psalm 51:3-4, Christian.net
3. Prayer for Strength and Mercy
“Almighty Father, I am calling Your Name in the hours of my blindness. I was enticed by the empty luxuries of evil, which caused You to hurt, oh Father. I confess my sins to You, as I have strayed away from the rules and the plans You have set before me. Oh dear Father, I am asking for your mercy and forgiveness. I ask of You, please give me the strength to stay away from evil, and to have a heart that seeks righteousness and justice at all times. Almighty Father, I angered You, but please, I plead for Your forgiveness. In Your presence, I trust in Your love, I live and in Your forgiveness, I am renewed. In Your Mercy, I pray. Amen.”
4. Prayer of Forgiveness for Others
“Dear Lord, You are a forgiving and merciful Lord, abounding in love to all who call upon You. Thank You for granting forgiveness so freely to us who are so undeserving. I pray that You'd overwhelm my friend with awareness of how much they've been forgiven and that they'd be able to grant the same mercy to others who have wronged them. Open their eyes to the trap caused by bitterness and enable them to find freedom by following Your example. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.”
5. Prayer for Guidance and Forgiveness
“Lord Almighty, I am seeking you with all of my heart. Please accept my naive soul that is asking for Your guidance. You have loved me unconditionally. Father, You fed me when my stomach was empty, You gave me shelter when I was homeless, You healed me and watched out for me when I was sick. Nevertheless, I grew cold and sinned against You. Because of this, I ask Your forgiveness and guidance back to Your Words. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
6. Prayer for Gratitude and Forgiveness
“Almighty Father, before I ask for Your forgiveness, I would like to take the time to express my gratitude for Your mercy. Like a father showing compassion to his children, You have never run short of patience and love. Like the vast distance between Your Heavens and Earth, Your Mercy is immeasurable. Without a stain of doubt and a record of wrongs, You, the Father, the God, and the Refuge of all, insist on forgiveness. Therefore, I am humbly asking for Your forgiveness as I strive to become an obedient child to You and Your Heavenly Kingdom. Amen.”
Source: Psalm 103: 10-14, Christian.net
7. Prayer by Pastor Rick Warren
“Father, only You understand how much I’ve been hurt by this person. I don’t want to carry the pain for another second. I don’t want to be a bitter person. But I need Your Grace and the Power of the Cross to release my hurt and to forgive those who’ve hurt me. This is the turning point. First, I need to experience Your forgiveness.
You know all the ways I’ve hurt others, and I’m so sorry for my sins. Jesus, thank you for dying for me. I accept Your grace and forgiveness, and I need it daily. Today I’m turning to You, and I’m choosing to forgive the way you have forgiven me. Every time the memory comes back, I’ll forgive that person again until the pain is gone. Heal my heart with Your grace. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
Source: Rick Warren, Christian.net
8. Prayer to Live in Forgiveness
“Father, I come to You today asking first for Your forgiveness for the sin in my life. I choose to turn from that sin and obey you. Thank You for your grace and mercy. Give me the strength and power to extend that same mercy and grace to those in my life who have hurt me.”
Source: Mary Southerland, Biblestudytools.com
9. Prayer to Resist Temptations
“Lord, it is You who is merciful and loving. For this reason, I am asking for Your guidance to close my eyes when the temptations of vengeance and grudges present themselves before me. Above all, I wish not to anger You, my Lord. I trust in You and I wish not to separate from Your plans. By Your Words, I do not feel the need to place blame on others or hold hate within my heart. I pray that You guide me, as I wish to be under Your Mercy. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”
Source: Micah 7:18, Christian.net
10. Prayer to Calm a Vengeful Heart
“Father, as I am being tested by my own emotions, I ask of You to help me. At this point, my human feelings are justifying my anger. However, I know well that You want me to forgive my enemies because You want me to be free. I pray that my ears won’t hear the sounds of vengeance. With my heart, I offer my prayers for forgiveness. I trust Your Words, oh Lord. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”
11. Prayer for the Gift of Forgiveness
“God, I have been trying to forgive myself, but I still carry shame. Today, I receive the gift of forgiveness You offered me. Thank you for doing a healing work inside of me that I cannot do on my own. Thank you for a new day, a new chapter, and a new beginning. Amen.”
Source: Suzanne Eller, Biblestudytools.com
12. Prayer to Forgive Lies and Deception
“Father of Truth, I have been hurt by a friend’s deceit. I know that the Devil often operates in half-truths, and it appears he has a foothold with my friend. I ask for both clarity in my situation and the ability to forgive my friend as you have forgiven me for the lies I have told in the past. Thank you, Lord. Amen.”
13. Prayer for Deliverance from Evil
“Lord, the works of the enemy have appeared in my life. On days like these, Father, I put my trust in You. I give all of my worries to You and seek no vengeance toward my brothers and sisters. I rest soundly as I leave all my ill thoughts behind and look forward to a life with You today and the rays of tomorrow. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”
Source: Romans 12: 18-21, Christian.net
14. Prayer for Forgiveness and Healing
“Dear Lord, search my heart. Reveal to me any remaining burrs of hurt where I have attempted to forgive apart from You. I pray You will cover these hurts in Your healing grace, and through Your strength empower me to forgive others as wholly and completely as You first forgave me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Source: Corrie Gerbatz, Biblestudytools.com
15. Prayer to Rebuke Unforgiveness
“Dear heavenly Father, I come to You today with a heavy heart, the weight of the unforgiveness hanging over me. I pray that You will help me to let go of this burden that I have been carrying for far too long. Remind me how much you love and care for me, as well as how much I have been forgiven. In Your Precious Name, Amen.”
Source: Jamy Whitaker, Biblestudytools.com
16. Prayer to Forgive and Forget
“Lord, please help me have the courage to lovingly speak to those who have sinned against me. Help me know how to tell them what they did wrong and kindly ask them not to do it again. If they repent and say they are sorry, please help me forgive them for what they did and then release them completely from that grievance, never to bring it up again. Help me put that offense out of my mind forever, just as You have done so many times for me! Amen.”
Source: Sparkling Gems, Biblestudytools.com
17. Prayer for a Repentant Heart
“Dear Heavenly Father, Let the words of Psalm 51 be my heart’s cry today. ‘Create in me a clean heart, oh God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.’ When I feel weighed down by sin in my life, I will find freedom by seeking your forgiveness.
“Forgive me for allowing sin to take hold. Thank you for the promise that you will ‘not reject a broken and repentant heart.’ You sent your son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins so that I may be forgiven. Praise you for that incredible gift! Lord, please accept this prayer of repentance as I turn away from sin and bring my brokenness to you. Thank you for making me whole again. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.”
Source: Kristine Brown, Crosswalk.com
Final Words on Forgiveness
If you have been contemplating how to start forgiving yourself or ask for forgiveness from God or other people, it is probably best to start with a prayer.
Start with any of these prayers and then grow from there. Feel the inner peace within as you forgive and are forgiven.
And if you want more inspirational prayers, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 21 Prayers for Your FAMILY During Difficult Times
- 49 Positive Morning Prayers to Inspire Your Day
- 17 Positive Prayers for Happiness, Love, & Joy