I had come to serve at the last Cleansing Stream retreat, but the truth was I carried a heavy load of my own. A certain topic for prayer came up, and I knew that when I was done praying for others, I myself needed prayer.
I walked up to another ministry team member, knowing that I could not relay the whole situation to her. The hurt was done to me by someone we both knew, and I didn’t want to gossip. I felt the Holy Spirit give me the go ahead to say one sentence about what had happened, “A pastor at our church really hurt me.”
She prayed a minute, and then stopped, looking me straight in the eye. “This happened to me one time. And I forgave and forgave. Then one day the Lord said to me, ‘you haven’t truly forgiven until you pray for mercy.’”
“I’ve wanted justice.” I said.
But then, I knew. I needed to pray for mercy for this person. I needed to stop holding a grudge and let it go into God’s hands. He knew what had happened, He knew my hurts, and He was going to do something about it. But first, I needed to let go. And I needed to pray for this person instead of against them.
Here is what I began to pray:
Father, I choose to forgive ______________ for ____________________. I release him/her into your hands. He/She is your burden and not mine. I declare that I am not ______________ ‘s judge. You are ______________’s judge and I release him/her into your hands. I lay my heart before you, every broken piece, every hurt, wound and bruise, and I pray in Jesus name, that you would heal my heart. Father, I lift __________ up to you, and I ask that you have mercy on him/her and give him/her what he/she needs. I release all anger, pain and bitterness into your hands and ask that you would bless _____________. In Jesus name, Amen.
Pray this every day, or every time this person comes to mind, until you have fully released them into the Lord’s hands. When you no longer hold offense, and have truly given it over to Him, that’s when you will see the Lord work not only in your heart, but in the situation as well.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse ~ Romans 12:14
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