Forgiveness always sounds easier on paper. After all, we can look to examples throughout the Bible of people forgiving one another and reap great inspiration from it. Joseph forgave his brothers for selling him into slavery (Genesis 50:20). Daniel and Jesus showed love to their enemies, in the latter case, even to the point of death. So how do we forgive someone while still mending a broken heart? Can we lift up a prayer for forgiveness when it seems that the person who has hurt us has taken all of our words away?

In the midst of intense hurt, you may not know the right words to say. The beautiful thing is there are no right words. God wants to hear the groanings of your heart and comfort you.  But we hope these prayers below can help offer a template or a jumping-off point in your journey to forgiveness.

Remember, Jesus tells us to pray for those who hurt us (Matthew 5:44). Perhaps these prayers you lift up can open their eyes to your hurting and to the lovingkindness of our Lord.

You will also notice that below we have some prayers to ask for forgiveness. As humans, we all fall short of the glory of God. If you’re needing to ask God for forgiveness, we have some prayers below for that as well.

Prayer for the Gift of Forgiveness

God, I have been trying to forgive myself, but I still carry shame. Today, I receive that gift of forgiveness You hold out to me. Thank you for doing a healing work inside of me that I cannot do on my own. Thank you for a new day, a new chapter, and a new beginning. Amen. – Suzanne Eller

Prayer for Forgiveness from God

Lord, against you I have sinned alone. I know that every time I choose sin over you, I revert to the ways of my old self before I knew you. Help me to return to the paths of righteousness, to turn away from my wrongdoing, and to become more like you every day. Amen.

Prayer for Live in Forgiveness

Father, I come to You today, asking first for Your forgiveness for the sin in my life. I choose to turn from that sin and obey you. Thank You for your grace and mercy. Give me the strength and power to extend that same mercy and grace to those in my life who have hurt me. – Mary Southerland

Prayer for Forgiveness and Rebuking Resentment

Dear heavenly Father, oh how our hearts struggle to forgive wholly and fully. We thank You for demonstrating such forgiveness by graciously extending it to us. Help us forgive freely and let go of bitterness, and grant us the strength to trust Your way is best. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. – Meredith Houston Carr

Prayer for Forgiveness of Lies

Father of Truth, I have been hurt by a friend’s deceit. I know that the devil often operates in half-truths, and it appears he has a foothold of my friend. I ask for both clarity in my situation and the ability to forgive my friend as you have forgiven me for the lies in the past I have told. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Forgiveness When Someone Hurts You

Heavenly Father, thank You for forgiving me and bringing me back into relationship with You. Thank You for sending Your Son to die on the cross to show us the true meaning of forgiveness. Help me to show that same forgiveness to others, so they can see You living in me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. – Lauren Dungy

Prayer for Forgiveness and Protection

God, I ask that you grant me the ability to forgive someone who has hurt me. However, I do not feel safe being around this person. I ask that you protect me when I am around this person. I know forgiveness does not necessarily mean I have to be best friends with them. Grant me safety and peace. Amen.

Prayer for Forgiveness during Intense Anger

Dear Lord, please forgive me for harboring anger. Equip me with a supernatural ability to forgive those who have hurt me. Guard my heart when old emotions threaten to surface. Strip my heart of anger and replace it with joy. In Jesus' name, Amen. – Tracie Miles

Prayer for Forgiveness and Repentance

God, I have an unrepentant friend. Even though I have expressed how much they have hurt me, they seem to lack conviction at this moment. Please help the Holy Spirit to open their eyes to the hurt they have caused. And please give me the clarity to those whom I may have unintentionally hurt as well. Amen.

Prayer for Forgiveness of Myself

Father God, I’m so thankful forgiveness isn’t something I have to earn or achieve. It’s a gift of grace I get to receive. Thank You that Jesus’ blood was enough to pay for my sin. Help me receive all You are offering me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. – Lysa Terkeurst

Prayer for Forgiveness and Cleansing

Jesus, as I ask for forgiveness from you, I ask that you would cleanse me with hyssop and make me pure. Sanctification is not an easy process but I want to become more like you, Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Forgiveness and Healing

Dear Lord, search my heart. Reveal to me any remaining burs of hurt where I have attempted to forgive apart from You. I pray You would cover these hurts in Your healing grace, and through Your strength, empower me to forgive others as wholly and completely as You first forgave me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. – Corrie Gerbatz

Prayer for Forgiveness for Hurting Someone

God, it has come to my attention that I have hurt someone dearly. I plan to go to them and to ask for forgiveness, but I also want to come to you and repent as well. I am supposed to be a light, and I chose selfishness over showing them the hope that I have within me. May you guide my footsteps. Amen.

Prayer to Rebuke Unforgiveness

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to You today with a heavy heart, the weight of the unforgiveness hanging on me.  I pray that You would help me to let go of this burden that I have been carrying for far too long.  Remind me how much you love and care for me, as well as, how much I have been forgiven. In Your Precious Name, Amen. – Jamy Whitaker

Prayer for Forgiveness in the Bible

Psalm 51:4: Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.”

Psalm 103:12: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Prayer to Forgive and Forget

Lord, please help me have the courage to lovingly speak to those who have sinned against me. Help me know how to tell them what they did wrong and kindly ask them not to do it again. If they repent and say they are sorry, please help me forgive them for what they did and then release them completely from that grievance, never to bring it up again. Help me put that offense out of my mind forever, just as You have done so many times for me! Amen. – Sparkling Gems

Prayer for Forgiveness of Disobedience

Father, there is someone in my life who has disobeyed me, and in doing so, hurt me. Please help me to find ways to forgive them. Also, alert me to areas in my life where there are wanting. I know that I may disobey you without even realizing it. Give me clarity and remind me how much you have forgiven me. Amen.

Prayer for Choose Forgiveness

Father, I praise You for the love and forgiveness You so freely offer. I don’t understand how You can love me when I am so unworthy of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. To think that He died for me rocks my world. Please give me the wisdom and strength to forgive those who have hurt me. I want my life to be a living illustration of Your unconditional love and unending forgiveness. Amen. – Mary Southerland

Prayer for Forgiveness of Sins

God, I come before you astounded. You, an all-holy God, have forgiven my sins and allowed me to come into a new life with you. I don’t know if that will ever be able to fully sink in. Thank you for your everlasting forgiveness, and I am so grateful to be a part of your family. Amen.

Prayer for Forgiveness and Freedom

Father, please forgive me when I allow anger and bitterness to fill my heart because I refuse to forgive someone who has hurt me. Teach me how to lay down my rights and choose to forgive in the same way You have forgiven me. – Mary Southerland

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/fizkes

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This article is part of our prayer resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.

Prayers from the Bible to Guide Your Prayer Time
Types of Prayers We See in the Bible
What Is the Prayer of Jabez in the Bible?
How to Pray for Your Daily Bread
Prayers for Anxiousness

Related: Listen to our podcast, Teach Us to Pray with Christina Patterson. You can find all the episodes at LifeAudio.com. Here's Episode 1: