Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18: 21-22)
Everyone has their way of showing their faith and communicating with their higher power. While some express it through worship and songs, plenty use the power of prayer to ask for guidance, seek forgiveness, and show gratitude.
But when someone wrongs you, does something hurtful, or angers you, praying for them may not be that easy. Despite the Holy teachings and the Bible stating that you need to pray for your enemies, it’s not always automatic, especially if you are not at peace with what happened. These prayers will help you let go and move on.
Pray for Your Enemies: 8 Examples of Prayers You Can Use
When you need to pray for your enemies, sometimes, the words must come first and your emotions will follow. To give you a little guidance, here are some prayers to help you find peace and forgiveness.
#1. Forgive and Bless Your Enemies
Loving Father, thank You for the example of Jesus Who cried, “Father, forgive them.” Help me to be one that freely and willingly prays forgiveness over those who are my enemies and those who, for whatever reason, dislike or try to harm me.
Lord, I thank You that even the people in our lives who despise us have a divine purpose in Your perfect plan. We can lift them up to Your throne of grace in prayer, asking for their forgiveness and salvation and releasing in us any pent-up hatred or bitterness that is damaging to our souls and well-being.
Forgive my enemies, Lord, and all those who have tried to hurt or harm me. Look down in pity on all those I call enemies and give me the grace to show them the love of Christ in my actions and attitudes towards them. Keep my thoughts from becoming resentful or seeking revenge, but release in my heart the peace that only comes from casting all my cares on You.
Give me the grace, not only to truly forgive all my enemies but also to bless those who persecute me. In so doing, I see a reflection of Your enormous grace towards me, for which I praise and thank You. In Jesus’ blessed name. Amen.
#2. Seeking Grace for Mutual Forgiveness
Merciful Lord, I beg You to help me forgive my enemies. As You have pardoned me so much, may I, too, pardon those who have hurt me. May they also forgive me for anything I did or did not do. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
#3. Grant Serenity and Forgiving Spirit
Messiah, my Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Help me forgive those who persecute me. The ones who have deeply hurt me. Those who have wrongfully accused me. That person who speaks ill of me. Amen.
#4. Strength and Grace Amid Adversity
Dear Lord, I thank You for the difficult people in my life who challenge me and push me to be better. I ask that You give me the strength, courage, and grace to deal with my haters without malice. Please give me the discernment to recognize when I should confront them directly and when it is best to forgive and move on.
I pray that You open their eyes to Your love and that Your peace may fill their hearts so they no longer feel anger or resentment towards me. Help them understand that their hurtful words and actions come from a place of pain within themselves, not from me. May they find comfort in knowing You are always with them and will never leave or forsake them.
I pray You soften my heart towards those who don’t like me so I can act according to Your love instead of responding with bitterness or retaliation. May I have the discernment to know when it is necessary to stand up for myself while remaining loving, compassionate, and understanding at all times, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
#5. Heartfelt Forgiveness Through Divine Guidance
Father, I need your help and your insights. Today, I gained a better understanding of forgiving others, and with your help, I fully forgive from my heart. Although I have been sinned against, I know that I myself have sinned against others.
You have freely forgiven me, so I forgive them as well. Father, I ask you to forgive me for hurting others and to heal my relationships with others. I pray all of this in Jesus’ precious name and by whom all forgiveness and healing are made possible. Amen.
#6. Divine Help for Complete Forgiveness
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 that Your way is best. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
#7. Embodying Christ’s Forgiving Spirit
Heavenly Father, thank You for forgiving me and bringing me back into a relationship with You. Thank You for sending Your Son to die on the cross to show us the true meaning of forgiveness. Help me show that same forgiveness to others so they can see You living in me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
#8. Strength to Extend Forgiveness
Lord, please help me remember the power of forgiveness, and please help me extend this to [insert name/s]. I know what it means to forgive, and I know all the things you have forgiven me for. Despite my feelings about [insert name/s], please help me remember that, like me, You love this person and care about their well-being. Please help me find love in my heart and move past what was said and done. Please help me forgive [insert name/s] and move past this. In the name of Your son Jesus, I pray, Amen.
A Few Parting Words
To pray for your enemies is difficult but it is the only way to move past hurts so that we can live in God’s grace and joy. When struggling to forgive others, it’s helpful to remember that God has forgiven us even if we don’t deserve it. Hence, it only makes sense to extend the same grace to others.