- On a sheet of paper, list the names of people past and present that come to your mind as those you may need to forgive. Even if they come to mind and your not sure write them down.
- Sometimes we hold things against ourselves as well, write "myself" on your list if that is the case. (forgiving yourself is accepting the truth that God has already forgiven you)
- You can also write, thoughts against God" at the bottom of the list. Obviously, God has never done anything wrong so we don't have to forgive him - this is more about us releasing our feelings of hurt and resentment toward God if that is an issue, which it is for many people. Those feelings of anger or resentment toward God can become a wall between us and Him, so this is a way to let them go.
- Go over the post again about "What forgiveness is and is not."
**The rest of this process is best done with another trusted friend in your life. There is something about sharing with another person that is very healing to our spirit and soul. But you can do this on your own also.
Read the letters "out loud." Then you can sent them aside and take your original list and pray this prayer over each name:
Lord, I choose to forgive (say name of person)_____________for_________________(what they did or did not do, which made me feel____________________________(list the painful feelings).
After you have gone through this prayer naming each person on your list you can conclude with this prayer saying it aloud:
I choose today not to hold on to any resentment or bitterness for those I have named. I thank you for setting me free from the bondage of my bitterness. I let go of my right to seek revenge and ask You to heal my damaged emotions. I now ask You to bless those who have hurt me. In Jesus name.
After praying these prayers you can then take the letters you wrote and burn or shred them. As they shred or burn imagine the pain and hurt being gone just as the words on the paper are gone.
The last step of this process is to write down the date you chose to forgive. Now anytime those feelings, or thoughts begin to surface you remind yourself that on 00/00/00 I chose to forgive this person and I will not pick up that offense again, you can also pray and tell God that you chose to forgive_________ on 00/00/00 so you need Him to take away the thoughts and the feelings.
This gives you a time and a place that you made the choice to forgive and you can always refer back to it when the feelings and thoughts try to come back and they will!.... for awhile... but stay strong and just like the bell over time they will become less and less until one day you realize they are gone.
Any time you find you have picked up an offense or allowed unforgiveness back into your heart repeat this process.
Next post: Tuning in to the feelings of appreciation, love, care and compassion.