Prayers for Forgiveness to Heal Us and Forgive Others

Use these prayers for forgiveness to seek God's mercy in repentance and to forgive others of their transgressions. These prayers are meant to express contrition, seek God's mercy, and acknowledge the need for His forgiveness:

Updated Nov 27, 2023
Prayers for Forgiveness to Heal Us and Forgive Others

Prayers for forgiveness are an important, ongoing practice in the Christian life. The Bible teaches us to: "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." - Ephesians 4:32

As Christians, we are called to follow the example of Jesus Christ, who taught forgiveness and practiced it, even from the cross. When we pray for forgiveness, we align ourselves with His teachings and actions, striving to live a life that reflects His love and grace.

Forgiveness prayers have the power to bring healing and restoration. To not forgive leads to guilt, bitterness, and emotional burdens. When we pray for forgiveness, we open ourselves to God's grace and the possibility of reconciliation with Him and those we have wronged. It can mend broken relationships and offer emotional and spiritual healing.

Praying for forgiveness allows us to release these negative emotions and find peace. It frees us from the weight of grudges and resentment, bringing emotional relief. Whether you are seeking God's forgiveness or asking him to help you forgive the wrong done by someone else, if you pray in humility and repentance, these prayers can lead to peace and transformation.

5 Simple Forgiveness Prayers

General Prayer for Forgiveness: Merciful Father, I come before you with a repentant heart, acknowledging my sins and shortcomings. I confess my need for your forgiveness and mercy. Wash me clean, O Lord, and create in me a pure heart. I trust in your unfailing love and rely on your grace to restore and renew me. Thank you for the forgiveness I find in Jesus Christ. In His name, I pray. Amen.

Prayer for Forgiveness of Specific Sins: Gracious God, I bring before you the specific sins that weigh heavy on my conscience. I am truly sorry for [mention specific sins]. I ask for your forgiveness and the strength to turn away from these actions. Thank you for the promise that if we confess our sins, you are faithful and just to forgive us. Grant me the power to live in the freedom of your forgiveness. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Prayer for Forgiveness and Healing: Compassionate Lord, I recognize the consequences of my actions and the pain I may have caused others. I not only seek your forgiveness but also your healing touch on those I've affected. Restore broken relationships, mend wounded hearts, and bring reconciliation where there is discord. Thank you for your grace that not only forgives but also heals. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Prayer for Forgiving Others: Heavenly Father, I release any resentment and bitterness I hold against those who have wronged me. Just as you have forgiven me, help me extend forgiveness to others. Teach me to love my enemies and to pray for those who have hurt me. Grant me the strength to let go of grudges and walk in the freedom of forgiveness. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Prayer for Help in Overcoming Sin: O Holy Spirit, empower me to overcome the temptations and struggles that lead me into sin. Give me discernment, wisdom, and strength to resist the enemy. I surrender my weaknesses to you and ask for your guidance in making choices that honor you. Thank you for your grace that not only forgives but also transforms. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Prayers for Forgiveness

Prayers for forgiveness are deeply rooted in Christian tradition and are often used by individuals seeking God's forgiveness for their sins. Here are some of the best-known Christian prayers for forgiveness:

The Lord's Prayer

The Lord's Prayer, also known as the "Our Father," is a central prayer in Christianity for seeking forgiveness and acknowledging the importance of forgiving others.

"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." (Matthew 6:9-15

Psalm 51

This biblical psalm is attributed to King David, who prayed for forgiveness and cleansing after his sin with Bathsheba. It is a heartfelt and penitential prayer that is often used in Christian worship and personal devotion.

"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! ... Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit."

The Jesus Prayer

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." - This simple but powerful prayer is used in Eastern Orthodox Christianity to seek forgiveness and God's mercy.

The Prayer of Humble Access

In Anglican and Episcopal traditions, this prayer is often used during the Eucharist service and includes a plea for God's mercy and forgiveness.

"We do not presume to come to this your table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in your abundant and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table; but you are the same Lord whose character is always to have mercy." Read more

Remember that the efficacy of these prayers is not just in the words themselves but in the sincerity and contrition with which they are prayed. Additionally, seeking forgiveness may involve the sacrament of confession or reconciliation in certain Christian denominations. It's important to seek guidance from a pastor, priest, or spiritual leader in your specific Christian tradition for personalized advice on seeking forgiveness.

Prayer to God for Forgiveness of Sins

Lord Jesus, sadly, I’ve kept you out of my life. I know I am a sinner and cannot save myself. No longer will I close the door when I hear you knocking. By faith, I gratefully receive your gift of salvation. I am ready to trust you as my Lord and Savior. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to earth. I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my 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 be my Savior. Amen.

Note: Even while I encourage you to pray this prayer, I caution you that saying words alone will not save you. Prayer doesn’t save. Only Christ can save. But prayer can be a means of reaching out to the Lord in true saving faith. If you pray these words in faith, Christ will save you. You can be sure of that. - Dr. Ray Pritchard

Forgive Us, Oh Lord

We cry to you, Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us.

King of Heaven and eternal Lord, receive the prayer we pour out before you and forgive us.

Visit the sick, release the captives, help the widow and the orphan, and forgive us.

We have sinned and have turned from you. Redeemer of all, save us and forgive us.

Have mercy on the penitent, and wash away the stains of sin, and forgive us.

Prayer for Forgiveness and Salvation

Our Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, I thank you, for even though I am a sinner in the kindness of your mercy, you have fed me with the precious body and blood of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that this holy communion may not bring me condemnation and punishment but forgiveness and salvation. May it be a helmet of faith and a shield of goodwill. May it purify me from evil ways and put an end to my evil passions. May it bring me charity and patience, humility and obedience, and growth in power to do good.

May it be my strong defense against all my enemies, visible and invisible, and the perfect calming of all my evil impulses, bodily and spiritual. May it unite me more closely to you, the one true God and lead me safely through death to everlasting happiness with you. Lead me, a sinner, to the banquet, where you, with your Son and Holy Spirit, there is true and perfect light, total fulfillment, everlasting joy, gladness without end and perfect happiness for your saints. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen. - Source: Thomas Aquinas, 13th Century

Prayer for Forgiveness and Deliverance

O Christ, my Creator and Redeemer, Almighty Lord God, forgive the sins of all who are joined to me by friendship or blood, and for whom I pray, or have resolved to pray, — and all your faithful people. Deliver them from all evil, preserve them in all good, and bring them to eternal joy for your honor and glory. Amen. Source: Gregorian Sacramentary

Short Prayer to Forgive Others

Dear Lord, I thank You for the power of forgiveness and choose to forgive everyone who has hurt me. Help me set [name anyone who has offended you] free and release them to You (Romans 12:19). Help me bless those who have hurt me (Romans 12:14). Help me walk in righteousness, peace, and joy, demonstrating Your life here on earth. I choose to be kind and compassionate, forgiving others, just as You forgave me (Ephesians 4:32). In Jesus’ name, amen. - Debbie Przybylski

Short Prayer to Forgive Yourself

Father, today I ask forgiveness for all the negative and harmful words I have spoken about myself. I do not want to abuse myself in such a way again. Transform my thoughts and let me understand how marvelously you made me. Change my habits so I use my tongue to speak hope and favor upon my life. In Jesus' name. - Sarah Coleman

Prayer for Forgiving Others

Dear Merciful Lord, thank you for your gift of forgiveness. Your only Son loved me enough to come to earth and experience the worst pain imaginable so I could be forgiven. Your mercy flows to me in spite of my faults and failures. Your Word says to “clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” (Col. 3:14) Help me demonstrate unconditional love today, even to those who hurt me.

Even though I feel scarred, I understand that my emotions don’t have to control my actions. Father, may Your sweet words saturate my mind and direct my thoughts. Help me release the hurt and begin to love as Jesus loves. I want to see my offender through my Savior’s eyes. If I can be forgiven, so can he. I understand there are no levels to your love. We are all your children, and your desire is that none of us should perish.

You teach us to “let the peace that comes from Christ rule in our hearts.” (Col. 3:15). When I forgive in words, allow your Holy Spirit to fill my heart with peace. I pray this peace that only comes from Jesus will rule in my heart, keeping out doubt and questions. And above all, I am thankful. Not just today, not just this week, but always. Thank you for the reminder, “Always be thankful.” (Col. 3:15) With gratitude, I can draw closer to you and let go of unforgiveness. With gratitude, I can see the person who caused my pain as a child of God. Loved and accepted. Help me find the compassion that comes with true forgiveness.

And when I see the person who hurt me, bring this prayer back to my remembrance so I can take any ungodly thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5) And may the confidence of Christ in my heart guide me into the freedom of forgiveness. I praise you for your work in my life, teaching, and perfecting my faith. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. - Kristine Brown

Forgive and Awaken Us

Lord God, heavenly Father, we all, like sheep, have gone astray, led away from the right path by Satan and our own sinful flesh. Graciously forgive us all our sins for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ and awaken our hearts by your Holy Spirit, that we may abide in your Word and in true repentance and a steadfast faith continue in your Church to the end and obtain eternal salvation; through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one true God, now and forever Amen. ~ Source: Veit Dietrich, d. 1549

Prayer for Forgiveness of Sins and Eternal Life

Almighty and eternal God, by your Son, you promised us the forgiveness of sins, righteousness, and eternal life. By your Holy Spirit, lead and awaken our hearts that we daily pray for help in all afflictions, seek to be near him, believe the promise of His Word, obtain what we pray for, and at last be saved through your Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one true God, now and forever. ~ Source: Veit Dietrich

Forgive Us Our Sins that We May Glorify You

Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, You gave us your holy Word and have generously provided for all our bodily needs. We are unworthy of all these mercies and have rather deserved punishment. But forgive us our sins as you forgave Peter, and prosper and bless us in our different callings that by your strength we may be sustained and defended, now and forever and so praise and glorify you eternally; you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one true God, now and forever. ~ Source: Paul C. Stratman

Bible Verses about Forgiveness

1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

James 5:16 - Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

Matthew 18:21-22 - Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

Matthew 6:14-15 - For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Colossians 3:13 - Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.


4 Prayers for Forgiveness - For Self and Others -

"forgiveness" prayers -

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