The Challenge of Forgiveness

PrayerOn May 4, 2015, the Associated Press ran an article titled, “Slain Pennsylvania Trooper’s Parents Forgive Alleged Killer Eric Frein.” Cpl. Bryon Dickson II was killed and Trooper Alex Douglass was critically injured by the alleged gunman, an anti-government survivalist, who led police on a six-week manhunt before being captured by U.S. marshals.

Though Darla Dickson, the victim’s mother, admits it hasn’t been easy to forgive her son’s alleged killer, she says, “Justice lays behind us at the grave, where my son’s body is buried.” What a powerful testimony to their Christian faith, which she says has taught her that as God has forgiven her, she should forgive others.

How often have we held grudges over a wrong done to us? How often have we allowed our feelings to interfere with mending a broken relationship? I know I’ve been challenged to forgive more than one transgression, as I am sure others have found it difficult to forgive me.

In 1 John 1:9 (NIV) it says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  So, not only does forgiving someone mend our relationship with them, it heals our relationship with God when we have sinned by refusing to forgive someone.

Here is a forgiveness prayer by Aysha Ives that she has encouraged the sharing of. I hope it helps you when you are struggling to forgive.

Dear God, please help me to forgive this person for hurting my feelings. Help me to see the greatness in her and to love her the way that You do. Help me to relinquish the anger that I’m experiencing so that I can walk in the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Help me to heal from this incident and to release any bitterness that I may be harboring. Please give me guidance in this situation, Holy Spirit, so that I can approach it in the way that is most pleasing to You. Help me God to do Your will. Thank You, and in Jesus’ mighty name, I pray. Amen.

 

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