Last year, I started a short series of posts about prayer that I never got to finish, but getting this one done was important to me. I have a friend who was the victim of a traumatic event, who said she wanted to see me write about how to pray to help forgive & heal after such an experience. And you know what? Unfortunately, we live in a broken world, where bad things do often happen to good people. Many of us have been through something hard or traumatic, that left us wondering how, if ever, we would be able to forgive the person who hurt us, so that we might be able to fully heal.
Maybe, for some of us, it comes easier than others. Or maybe you’re like me, & you tell yourself you’ve healed & moved on, but then you talk about the trauma or the person who hurt you, & all the feelings & emotions get stirred back up, leaving you hurt, angry, & maybe even crying all over again, which in turn makes you question if you’ve REALLY healed.
The good news for believers is, God’s Word is full of so many promises of healing & freedom from hurts & traumas that may happen in this life. When we think of the healing promises of God, we often forget that these promises apply to not only our physical healing, but to our mental, emotional, & spiritual healing as well. Praying & speaking the promises of the Word over ourselves activates His healing power IN us, so that we can be delivered from brokenness & restored to the wholeness in Christ that gives us peace. A few verses to help us remember His promises when we find ourselves reliving the hurt or maybe in a situation that stirs up the pain or fear all over again:
He will cover you & completely protect you with His pinions, & under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield & a wall. You will not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow that flies by day.-Psalm 91:4,5 (AMP)
But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.-Proverbs 1:33 (NLT)
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you & help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.-Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.Isaiah 53:10 (NLT)
casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, & all your concerns, once & for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, & watches over you very carefully].-1 Peter 5:7 (AMP)
That helps with our personal healing, but what about forgiving the other person or people who caused the hurt, that’s essential to complete the healing process, right?
We know that multiple times, the Word tells us we must forgive. In Matthew chapter six, & Mark chapter 11, Jesus Himself tells us that if we don’t forgive others, the Father will not be able to forgive us. When He teaches the disciples to pray, He teaches them that when asking forgiveness, to forgive those who’ve wronged them (Matt 6:12). Yet, especially when we’ve experienced a traumatic hurt, that is so often easier said than done. And the believer who wants to heal, can often be hard on themselves about knowing what they should do, what Jesus wants them to do, yet finding it so very difficult to let go of the wrong done to them, & the resentment they still feel over the whole situation.
I’ve recently been listening to Sadie Robertson’s podcast “WHOA That’s Good,” & I now have a whole list of notes in Keep Notes on my phone titled “WHOA! That’s Good!”… As I’ve been meditating & praying over this topic of forgiveness, & how we can pray to forgive those things that are the hardest to forgive, in one of the episodes from season one, I heard (I think it was Sadie that said it, but it might’ve been the guest) “When you can’t say ‘I forgive,’ pray ‘Father forgive’.” She was referring to Jesus, as He hung on the cross, falsely accused, whipped & beaten so badly that the Word tells us He was completely disfigured- He didn’t even look human anymore. The multitude He was suffering for, had chosen to set a known murderer free rather than Him! He was being punished for nothing more than speaking God’s Truth, & ultimately, to save the very souls of those who were persecuting Him. Imagine the hurt, the pain, the anguish He felt. Even Jesus had a moment where He couldn’t say “I forgive.” Instead, He prayed, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” WHOA! That’s good, right?
So when you find yourself having a hard time forgiving what seems like the unforgivable, remember, Jesus did too, & He showed us how to pray about that, too. As you speak His healing promises over yourself & pray “Father forgive,” He’ll help you heal on your path to forgiveness & restore you to wholeness.
-Walking in Forgiveness & Finding the Blessings, Gerri