I want to share my testimony about the power of forgiving someone else in prayer to shift their lives and change you to bring healing and release of pain. I had a good friend that I worked with in ministry for a number of years, and we had an issue between us, so we sat down together and we talked for a while, and we forgave each other, worked through it. And a few months later, I realized I am still feeling hurt. Even though we had talked through it, I’m still hurt and I still carry offense. So I sat down in my house and I just realized I needed to go deeper in forgiveness, so I began forgiving.
And there’s a Bible verse, Matthew 18:35 that says, we must forgive from the heart. So I was forgiving for every place where I felt hurt or I felt used, or I felt unseen, not heard, all those emotions that I was feeling, I began forgiving in the presence of the Lord. There’s a word in the Bible that talks about that forgiveness, and it’s called remitting sins. It’s found in John 20:22-23, and I’m going to read that to you. “When He had said this, Jesus breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whoever sins you remit, they will be remitted. And whoever sins you do not remit or you retain, they will be retained.'”
That word remit in the Greek means literally to send away. So as we forgive someone in prayer, in a sense, we’re sending away their sins. John Sanford of Elijah House, says they still need to choose to repent for their sins and choose to confess them to God in order to feel that cleansing or sense that cleansing experience with the Lord. But our remission, he explains, is like lifting off a heavy yoke of the weight of their sin so that they can then choose to come to God and confess their sin. So we are helping the process by remitting, we’re sending away those sins so that they can then perceive truth and meet God in that place.
So I forgave, and afterward the Lord said to me, and this is the second step after we forgive, and it took me a while, it took me maybe half an hour of heartfelt forgiveness to process all the hurts, pains, things that I was feeling in my heart from where we forgive. And then the Lord said, “I want you now to bless her in every way that you would want to be blessed if you were walking in her shoes.” So as a leader, I thought, all right. I would want intercessors to pray for me as a leader. I would want provision in ministry. I would want good friends who are loyal as I do ministry. So I began to pray blessing. God, would you give her strong, faithful intercessors? Would you provide for her? And in the middle of blessing her and pouring out blessing and sincere desire for her to receive blessing, God showed me a demonic generational bondage in her life. And later, few weeks later, I was able to share that with her, and she invited me to minister to her, and she got free of that generational bondage, and it shifted. She told me months later, “Janet, that shifted my perception of how I lead. It was like a lens got removed.”
So our intercession in forgiveness as we remit before the Lord, before the Father, can shift things for people so that they can get free. And it also removes the pain and the ache and the offense in our heart, and it brings us into freedom and affection that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. It’s a powerful tool to remit someone’s sins before the Father.