I really don’t remember if this was part of what was taught in the books I read or seminars I went to, but I realized something about saying these forgiveness prayers.
What I realized was, that perhaps because I had gotten into the habit of saying the prayer of forgiveness so often, I found myself speaking these words of forgiveness even at times when I didn’t actually ‘feel’ forgiveness in my heart.
But the interesting thing is, by the time I was done saying the prayer, I often did actually feel forgiveness in my heart. This was very fascinating to me, because prior to that, I used to think that I couldn’t make any kind of declaration of forgiveness until I already felt forgiveness in my heart. I didn’t realize that I could take a step of faith by speaking words of forgiveness before I actually felt it in my heart to get the process going.
What this meant for me was, that if my heart’s desire was to obey the commandment to forgive, but I didn’t actually feel forgiveness yet, I could still just pray the prayer, make the declaration that I am forgiving, and have faith that the feeling of forgiveness would come.
This was very freeing to me to realize this. Suddenly, extending forgiveness seemed a much easier thing to do. At least for me.
I don’t know how to force my feelings to change, particularly in the area of forgiveness. But I could decide to make my mouth to speak a few words. That I could do.
I realize that speaking a few words of forgiveness about an offense or hurtful incident one time may not complete the entire process of forgiveness. But in my opinion, it is a wonderful start, especially if it is real and honest. I truly believe God honors our efforts to do the right thing, and that He will help us when our hearts are honest with Him.
Love & blessings & much forgiveness,