Focus: Forgiveness and prayer
Mark 11:25 (NKJV) “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
In depression and dependency—it is almost guaranteed that some relationship issues helped take you there. If you want to walk in a state of true recovery and keep moving forward—you need to find peace with your past. That usually involves forgiving people who may have been involved in causing your condition to become what it has been.
Forgiving others can be quite a process. If you’re like me—you may have trouble remembering all of the people you might have offended and everyone who may have offended you. Even more—you probably don’t want to think about it anyway. Yet, the Bible encourages us to get–and keep a clean slate. The scripture above plainly states that forgiving others is absolutely necessary, not just for their sake—but our own!
You might think, well—can’t I just say one prayer like, “I forgive everybody”, and have it done? If you try that, and it truly works—meaning that you no longer have hard feelings when you think of anyone—well, good for you. Most of us, however, might need to go a little deeper in prayer than that.
A practical way to start working through it, is to simply make a list of people who come to your mind. Ask God to help you recall every single person you need to forgive–for things to really be right in your life. As an experience comes to your mind that involved a particular person—write down the name. After you forgive them, cross it off.
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You might be thinking this is something too hard for you to do. Or, you might feel like you don’t know how—or even have the desire to forgive them. Well, let’s start there. Stop right now and say out loud, “God please give me the help and desire I need to forgive anyone who has offended or harmed me, or who as harmed someone I care about. Please bring these people to my mind so I can get things right with You. In Jesus Name, Amen.”
As someone comes to your mind that you have a hard time wanting to forgive…Say, “God, I confess to You that I have an offense toward ________________. I need Your help to have the desire to release them from guilt and condemnation. Will You help me? In Jesus Name, Amen.”
God wants you to get free from these things, so don’t be surprised if right away you feel the ability to go further in prayer. As soon as you can–continue on with, “God, You know how much pain __________________has caused me, but with Your help, I want to forgive them. Please forgive me for the offense I have held in my heart toward _________________. I am asking You to release them from judgment and condemnation. I choose by an act of my will to forgive, release, and bless _________________. In Jesus Name, Amen.”
If at all possible, after you have prayed—you should try to go to the person or write them a letter and tell them you forgive them and have chosen to release and bless them. If you know they have an offense against you—ask them to forgive you, too. Often, this is an amazing experience. If you think they will not receive it, ask God to work in their heart so that you will be able to do it when He shows you the time is right.
Recovery is not a destination—it’s a journey. If your journey is like mine, it will be an ongoing process of revelation, confession, and restoration.
Declaration: I will keep moving forward by finding peace with my past. With the help of God, I choose to forgive those who have offended me and I will seek forgiveness from those whom I have offended. Doing these important things will help me receive new strength and the ability to pray more effectively for myself and others.
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