Prayer for forgiveness of self and other has been and is so important to me. You will understand why if I tell you a little of my story:
When I got ill, I did not have the help I needed to rest and recover. I had to go against the advice to rest in order to continue to look after myself. I got more and more ill. I ended up living severely disabled with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, bedbound for 14 years. I felt that my deterioration was unnecessary and I felt hurt that no one stepped forward to ensure that I got enough to eat.
I also felt guilty for feeling hurt and for having an illness!
I developed the powerful forgiveness exercises of the release which you can read about in my FREE ebook - Releasing Judgment.)
Prayer for forgiveness also helped me to keep my heart open. I wanted to be able to give and receive blessings instead of living with bitterness.
This forgiveness article is on self forgiveness. The next one is on how to forgive someone else - see links below.
Both articles include forgiveness quotes from The Bible and A Course In Miracles.
Click through for a further page on Forgiving oneself which includes the following:
A Spiritual Forgiveness Prayer - A Step in How To Forgive Someone Else
Don't Try To Forgive On Your Own - Forgiveness Quotes
How to forgive a cheating husband - an answer to a visitor's question
A practice of forgiveness I use in my life and in my work, called "The Release".
Finding inner peace
through the practice of forgiving self and other.
Make the above prayer for self forgiveness your own by missing out anything which does not apply to your own situation. Or write your own prayer.
If you would like advice about developing the habit of forgiveness, please help yourself to my FREE E-book - Releasing Judgement – Forgiveness Exercises for Self Acceptance and Inner Peace. See the box below.
Forgiveness is the main spiritual practice which allowed me to keep my heart open to God through 14 years of severe illness and hardship.
A Catholic prayer for self forgiveness can also be called an act of contrition. I have just looked up the definition of contrition on Wikepedia.
“Contrition or contriteness (from the Latin contritus 'ground to pieces, i.e. crushed by guilt) is sincere and complete remorse (i.e. regret with a sense of guilt) for sins one has committed.”
That last sentence contains so much of what can potentially cause damage in religion.
Ground to pieces, crushed by guilt.
I can't see anything positive in that.
And the word “sin” has become a trigger word for so many people.
The idea of saying a prayer for forgiveness is not to be crushed by guilt. It is very much the opposite.
It is to remove yourself from under the weight of guilt by acknowledging a mistake you have made or think you have made and asking for forgiveness.
Catholics have available the sacrament of penance. You go to a priest at least once each year, confess your sins/mistakes, say a prayer for forgiveness, and receive absolution from God via the priest.
You can also attend a mass twice a year dedicated to prayer for forgiveness. It is called a penitential service.
Any non-catholic would, I hope, be welcome to attend.
For myself, growing up as a Catholic Christian, I ended up with
an unhealthy, I would say, ungodly sense of guilt. It did not come from
these practices though. Not at all.
The practice of confession cultivated a belief in me of a loving God who always forgives.
Many people of various religions – especially in previous generations, had the opposite experience – the experience of a punishing and unforgiving God.
Many secular (non-religious or non-spiritual) people with experience of being punished unfairly or not being forgiven also have a poor ability to forgive themselves or expect forgiveness from others.
I was blessed to be taught a God of love not of fear.
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When I was ill and housebound, my spiritual journey eventually moved me back towards Christianity. A priest started to visit me at home.
To my surprise, I found an enormous sense of release and relief in saying The Confiteor – a prayer for forgiveness which is said in every mass.
I realised that without practising belief in a loving, all-accepting God, I had started to define my worth by whether I was right or wrong.
There was a tightness about me, an unhealthy need to be right.
In turn, this was making it harder for me to see when I was in the wrong.
What a relief to remember we don't have to be right to be OK. We can ask others to accept us as we are. We can ask others to say a prayer for forgiveness for us.
There is a wonderful line in A Course In Miracles (ACIM):
“Do you prefer that you be right or happy?” (T-29.VII.1)
When you feel unhappy with yourself or another, say this ACIM quote to give God access to show you another way of seeing things; one that leads to peace.
Christian forgiveness generally has some practice for carrying out the following advice on self forgiveness given in the Bible:
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.”
(James 5:16 , KJV e-Sword)
Move to the TOP of this article on Prayer for Forgiveness.
Move from Prayer For Forgiveness of Self to the next page -
Spiritual Forgiveness Prayer - How to Forgive Someone
Move to see a List of Prayers on a-spiritual-journey-of-healing.com
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