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This is an excerpt, with revisions, from the 1985 book Forgiveness & Inner Healing by Father Robert DeGrandis S.S.J. and Betty Tapscott.
The following prayer covers most significant areas of forgiveness. Often, such a prayer will bring to mind other areas that need forgiveness. Let the Holy Spirit move freely and guide your mind to persons or groups you need to forgive.
Lord Jesus Christ, I ask today to forgive everyone in my life. I know that You will give me the strength to forgive and I thank You that You love me more than I love myself and want my happiness more than I desire it for myself.
Father, I forgive YOU for the times death has come into my family, hard times, financial difficulties, or what I thought were punishments sent by You and people said “It’s God’s will,” and I became bitter and resentful towards You. Purify my heart and mind today.
Lord, I forgive MYSELF for my sins, faults and failings, and for all that is bad in myself or that I think is bad. I forgive myself; and I accept Your forgiveness. I further forgive MYSELF for taking your name in vain, not worshiping You by attending church, for hurting my parents, getting drunk, for sins against purity, bad books, bad movies, [bad websites], fornication, adultery, homosexual acts. Also, for abortion, stealing, lying, defrauding, hurting peoples’ reputation, I forgive myself. You have forgiven me; today I forgive myself.
Thank you, Lord, for your grace at this moment.
I also forgive MYSELF for any delving in superstition, using ouija boards, horoscopes, going to séances, using fortune telling or wearing lucky charms, I reject all that superstition and choose You alone as my Lord and Savior. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit.
Lord Jesus, I truly forgive my MOTHER. I forgive her for all the times she hurt me, she resented me, she was angry with me and for all the times she punished me. I forgive her for the times she preferred my brothers and sisters to me. I forgive her for the times she told me I was dumb, ugly, stupid, the worst of the children or that I cost the family a lot of money. For the times she told me I was unwanted, an accident, a mistake or not what she expected, I forgive her.
Lord Jesus, I truly forgive my FATHER. I forgive him for any non-support, any lack of love, affection, or attention. I forgive him for any lack of time, for not giving me his companionship, for his drinking, arguing and fighting with my mother or the other children. For his severe punishments, for desertion, for being away from home, for divorcing my mother or for any running around, I do forgive him.
Lord, I extend forgiveness to my SISTERS AND BROTHERS. I forgive those who rejected me, lied about me, hated me, resented me, and competed for my parents’ love, those who hurt me, who physically harmed me. For those who were too severe on me, punished me or made my life unpleasant in any way, I do forgive them.
Lord, I forgive my SPOUSE for lack of love, affection, consideration, support, attention, communication; for faults, failings, weaknesses and those other acts or words that hurt or disturb me.
Jesus, I forgive my CHILDREN for their lack of respect, obedience, love, attention, support, warmth, and understanding; for their bad habits, falling away from the church, any bad actions which disturb me.
Lord God, I forgive my IN-LAWS, my mother-in-law, father-in-law, son/daughter-in-law and other relatives by marriage, who treat my family with a lack of love. For all their words, thoughts, actions or omissions, which injure and cause pain, I forgive them.
Please help me to forgive my RELATIVES, my grandmother and grandfather, aunts, uncles, cousins who may have interfered in our family, been possessive of my parents, who may have caused confusion or turned one parent against another.
Jesus, help me to forgive my CO-WORKERS who are disagreeable or make life miserable for me. For those who push their work off on me, gossip about me, won’t cooperate with me, try to take my job, I do forgive them.
My NEIGHBORS need to be forgiven, Lord. For all their noise, letting their property run down, not tying up their dogs who run through my yard, not taking in their trash barrels, being prejudiced and running down the neighborhood, I do forgive them.
I do forgive my CLERGYMAN, my CONGREGATION and my CHURCH; all priests, ministers, nuns, my parish, parish organizations, my pastor, bishop and the Pope for their lack of support, affirmation, bad sermons, pettiness, lack of friendliness, not providing my family with the inspiration we needed. I forgive them for neglecting their vocation to promote the faith, provide the sacraments and protect their flock. For any hurts they have inflicted on me or my family, even in the distant past, I forgive them today.
Lord, I forgive all those who are of different PERSUASIONS, those of opposite political views who have attacked me, ridiculed me, discriminated against me, made fun of me, economically hurt me.
I forgive those of different religious DENOMINATIONS AND BELIEFS who have harassed me, attacked me, argued with me, forced their views on me or my family.
Those who have harmed me ETHNICALLY, have discriminated against me, mocked me, made jokes about my race or nationality, hurt my family physically, emotionally or economically, I do forgive them today.
Lord, I forgive all PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE who have hurt me in any way: doctors, nurses, lawyers, judges, politicians and civil servants. I forgive all SERVICE PEOPLE: policemen, firemen, bus drivers, hospital workers and especially repairmen who have taken advantage of me in their work.
Lord, I forgive my EMPLOYER for not paying me enough money, for not appreciating my work, for being unkind and unreasonable with me, for being angry and unfriendly, for not promoting me, and for not complimenting me on my work.
Lord, I forgive my SCHOOLTEACHERS AND INSTRUCTORS of the past as well as the present. For those who punished me, humiliated me, insulted me, treated me unjustly, called me stupid, made me stay after school, I truly forgive them. For those who misled me, or neglected important skills or areas of study, I forgive them
Lord, I forgive my FRIENDS who have let me down, lost contact with me, do not support me, were not available when I needed help, borrowed money and did not return it, gossiped about me.
Lord Jesus, I especially pray for the grace of forgiveness for that ONE PERSON in life who has HURT ME THE MOST.
I ask to forgive anyone who I consider my greatest enemy, the one who is the hardest to forgive, the one I said I will never forgive.
Lord, I beg pardon of all these people for the hurt I have inflicted on them, especially my mother and father, and my marriage partner.
I am especially sorry for the three greatest hurts I have inflicted on each of these.
THANK YOU, JESUS, that I am being freed of the evil of unforgiveness. Let your Holy Spirit fill me with light and let every dark area of my mind be enlightened. AMEN.
Forgiveness is an act of the will, not a feeling. If we pray for a person, we can be assured that we have forgiven that person. To help accept an individual and open ourselves to a particular person more, picture that person with the Lord Jesus and say to the Lord, “I love him because You love him. I forgive him because You forgive him.”
Forgiveness is a life-long obligation. Daily we need to forgive those who hurt or injure us.