lords prayer words - traditional and contemporary prayers

Prayer for Forgiveness

Gathered together on this page are a number of example prayers and resources for asking God for forgiveness and for forgiving others who have wronged us. You may like to begin by reading the short article further down on "How to ask God for forgiveness" and then pray the "prayer for the forgiveness of sins" or the traditional Anglican prayer. There is also a short prayer for strength to help with overcoming whatever sin or difficulty you are experiencing.

When we are wronged by somebody else , the hurt that we feel inside can very quickly turn into lasting resentment, bitterness and anger. Also further down there is a brief article on why it is important to forgive others, and a suggested prayer for these occasions.

Short Prayer for Forgiveness

O Lord,

I am so sorry. I lay before you my regret, my guilt and my heartache.
I ask for your forgiveness, and trust in your everlasting grace to redeem me and guide me in the right way.
Thank you for your goodness to me, Jesus. I love you.

(a prayer for forgiveness from www.lords-prayer-words.com)

When you forgive, you in no way change the past - but you sure do change the future

(Bernard Meltzer, Radio Host, 1916-1998)

Prayer for the forgiveness of sins

Take a moment to bring to mind the ways that you may have failed God or others, such as in lying, temper, lust, jealousy etc. and then meditate on the words below:-

Lord, I'm in that place again
On my knees
Laying my life out before You
Thank you that on the cross you cried
"It is finished"
You have done it
Forgiveness is complete
I can live forever in Your grace
Forever in Your love

So I ask now for Your forgiveness
For the wrongs that I have done
And the things that I have neglected
I ask for Your forgiveness
For the people I have hurt along the way
And those who I have failed to love as You love
I ask for Your forgiveness

I receive Your forgiveness
And resolve in my heart
That with Your strength
I determine not to make these errors again
I receive Your forgiveness
And by the power of Your Holy Spirit
I walk away from everything I know to be wrong
And embrace everything I know about You
For the kingdom, the power and the glory
Are always and forever Yours

(a modern Christian prayer for forgiveness from www.lords-prayer-words.com)

Anglican prayer for forgiveness

Almighty God, our heavenly Father:
We have sinned against you,
through our own fault,
in thought, and word, and deed,
and in what we have left undone.
For the sake of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ,
forgive us all our offenses;
and grant that we may serve you
in newness of life,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

(From "An order for Compline", 1979 Book of Common Prayer, Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA)

Prayer for Forgiveness

A contemporary prayer of repentance asking God for His forgiveness and empowering:-

prayer for forgiveness

click to enlarge this image

Prayer about forgiving others

Lord, I bring to mind (name)
I bring him/her before You

I feel hurt by them
Right now I confess any negative feelings I have about them
I forgive the wrongs they have done towards me
For any deliberate or unintentional things they have done
That have caused me pain
In the best way that I know how, I fully forgive them

I release them to You

Now that I have forgiven (name)
I choose not to hold any grudges towards him/her
Thank you that as I am praying now
You are freeing my inner world to live again
Free from resentment, pain and bitterness
Filled with joy, freedom and love


(a modern prayer for forgiving others from www.lords-prayer-words.com)

Prayer for forgiveness and strength

Lord God,
I trust in you today.
I thank you that you keep turning the pages of my life. Everyday you give me a new beginning.
Help me to ride each new wave of temptation, and to overcome the things that can drag my life down. As I look to you I declare your promise of freedom over my life.


(a prayer for strength from www.lords-prayer-words.com)

The Lord's Prayer

When we say and reflect on these beautiful words we follow in the way that Jesus taught his disciples to pray:-

The Lord's Prayer with a cross on a hillside

About the nature of God's Forgiveness

A teacher of the Jewish law once posed a question to Jesus. "Which commandment is the greatest of all?"" Jesus replied that it is to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’" (Mark 12:28-30 WEB) and the second is to "Love your neighbour as yourself" (Mark 12:31). Forgiveness is an integral part of love. We can not truely be free to love somebody if we hold resentment or bitterness in our hearts towards them. Equally, we can not be free to love ourselves if we have not forgiven ourselves - if we are carrying disappointment, guilt or anger about ourselves.
Scripture commands us to receive God's forgiveness, and to be ready to extend this forgiveness to others, and ourselves. The bible also uses the word 'repentance' in connection with forgiveness. This simply means deciding to change direction - to live life in a different way - God's way. Follow this link to discover prayers you can pray to help with repentance.

The act of confession - confessing our sins to each other, has a long tradition in church history. Once you have prayed the prayers on this page you may find it helpful to talk with somebody that you trust and be open with them about the issues that you face.
"Confess your offenses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed."

James 5:16 (WEB)

How to Ask God's Forgiveness

Firstly, we begin by considering the different areas of our life where we may have a failed others (or ourselves), and bring these before God. These will fall into two groups:-

Sins of commission. These are the times when we have delibrately done something wrong, such as lied or cheated on someone.
Sins of omission. There will also be times when you have failed to do good or help others when you could have done. These are known as the sins of omission. The book of James makes it clear that failing to do the right thing is sin:-
"If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them."

James 4:17 (NIV)

Areas of your life to consider where you may have failed someone, (or people that may have failed you):-
family relationships
(mother/father/child/marriage partner)
(work colleagues/boss/employees/church relationships)
(e.g. professionals that you have sought help from such as nurses, doctors or accountants but have been hurt by)

Then choose one of the prayers on this page that is appropriate to your situation and come before God to ask his forgiveness. When you have prayed the prayer, take a moment to thank God that he completely forgives you:-

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

1 John 1:9 (NIV)

Finally, you may want to pray the prayer for forgiveness and strength on this page which asks for God's power to overcome whatever sin is difficult for you.

To err is human, to forgive, divine.

Alexander Pope, (English Poet, 1688-1744)

Why is it important to forgive others?

It releases us to live our lives. No matter how deep the pain you may feel from being wronged, living with unforgiveness in your life can cause untold mental pain and (even) lead to physical illness.

Sometimes we need to forgive ourselves. It may be that you have let somebody (or yourself) down - this can lead to inner frustation and anger with yourself, and guilt. Forgiveness releases the heart to walk away from these negative feelings.

Love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Cor 13:5). Forgiveness needs to be a regular activity - even daily if necessary. How many times should I forgive my brother (or children!)? Not seven but seventy times seven - it's something that we need to keep on doing.

please use the prayer marked "Prayer about forgiving others" on this page and bring to mind anybody who you need to forgive, such as your spouse, neighbour, a friend or work colleague.

Bible verses about forgiveness of others

Some scriptures on how we are to extend forgiveness to other people:-

Love your enemies

Christ commands us to be active in helping our enemies (this is probably the opposite of how we would naturally react!):-

"But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you..."

Matthew 5:44, (WEB)

The Apostle Paul on loving enemies

"But if one who has hate for you is in need of food or of drink, give it to him, for in so doing you will put coals of fire on his head. Do not let evil overcome you, but overcome evil by good"

Romans 12:20, (BBE)

Take a moment to hear from God...

here are links to some wonderfully inspired prayers to aid your journey