I was asked a couple of years ago, what kind of miracles I’ve seen through Elijah House Prayer Ministry. Though I’ve seen some physically healing as the result of praying for emotional wounds in a person’s life, I think the biggest miracle has been the process of forgiveness. I call it a process because usually, when we forgive someone who has greatly wounded us (wounded us to the core), it is not instant, but rather a process. It is a miracle of God, because only God can truly help us forgive from the depth of our heart.
Have you been betrayed by someone? Been betrayed in your marriage covenant, where your spouse has given their heart and even themselves physically to another? Has your spouse or a close friend, physically, or emotionally wounded you? Have you been grievously wounded by a parent from sexual, physical or emotional abuse?
When you think of your offender, do you have warm thoughts about them? Or are you instantly angry? Instantly, hurt? Just by the thought of them?
There are many scriptures in the Bible which talk about forgiveness. Here is just one: “bearing with one another, and forgiving one other, if anyone has complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do”. Colossians 3:13 (NKJV). Another scripture talks about anger, which is usually by-product of unforgiveness. Ephesians 4:26-27 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil.”
If I were to tell you, “just forgive, if you forgive, everything will be better in your life and relationships”. Could you do it? These words sound so easy, and maybe for some of you it has been that easy to forgive. For others of us, it takes work to forgive at the depth of wounding. Even, though, we know God tells us to forgive and we would find freedom, it’s still difficult.
A lot of times, when I’ve prayed with people, they’ll tell me, “Yes, I’ve forgiven.” Then when we start to pray about the wound, they realize there is a place in the depth of their heart, where unforgiveness is still lodged. This is where the pain is lodged and God needs to be invited to bring His healing and comfort into the wound. This is where the miracle of God comes in; we need His help to let go of the pain and offense.
Isn’t it a miracle for someone to give up their offense? Think of that person who has greatly offended/wounded you. Did it take a miracle of God for you to let go of the offense? Or think of someone you have wounded, does it not take a miracle for them to forgive you?
Now, I’m not saying that the relationship is always the same after forgiveness. Sometimes the offender is not a safe person to be back in relationship with them because they have not changed their behavior. Sometimes, there is restitution that needs to happen in the relationship. I know restitution is a foreign concept in our society. Restitution is not necessarily paying back something, but rather restoring trust in the relationship. It is a process of restoring the wounded person’s heart. But it is also a process of “writing on the violator’s heart” the grievance of the pain of the other.