Don’t forgive and forget. Forgive and pray. For Christians, forgiveness is not an option. It is a requirement because God has forgiven us. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus tells us to ask the Father to forgive us as we have forgiven other people.

Forgiveness is a hard thing to do. It doesn’t always come easy, especially when the hurt is deep and long-lasting. It often takes time, but with God’s help we can receive healing and truly forgive.

A counselor once asked me regarding someone who had hurt me, “Have you prayed for him?” At the time I thought it was an odd question. However, I see now that praying for the ones who hurt us is a true test of forgiveness. If I can ask the Father to bless anyone who hurts or offends me, then I no longer hold ill-will toward them and I have forgiven them.

In Luke 6:28, Jesus tells us to pray for them. Prayer can also be a tool to help us through the process of forgiveness. Bringing those who have offended us before the Father can help us see the person through God’s eyes.

Forgiveness is one of those practices that is completely counter-intuitive in our culture today. Holding on to hurts is common. But God has called us higher. He has called us to be lights in the darkness. We shine as lights when we recognize our blessings through God’s forgiveness and walk in right relationship with Him as we forgive others the way He forgive us.

Lord, help me pray for those who have hurt me. Let me see them through your love. Amen.

Go Deeper — If you are dealing with a hurt, ask God to help you forgive. Be honest with your Heavenly Father if this is a struggle for you. Begin praying for God to bless the other person and see how, over time, your feelings about them change.

Read More7 Steps to Forgiveness

Tags: The Lord's Prayer Luke 6 forgiveness
Photo Credit: Kate Remmer