By Becky Harling, Crosswalk.com
Author Philip Yancy wrote, “Christian faith is…basically about love and being loved, and reconciliation. These things are so important, they’re foundational and they can transform individuals, families.” Not only is reconciliation core to our Christian faith, it is a big deal to God! In fact, God went to great lengths to offer reconciliation to mankind even sacrificing His own Son. As recipients of His grace, He now expects us as believers to become ministers of reconciliation in our world. One of the best ways to do this is through reconciliation prayer.
What Is Reconciliation?
Before we can take a look at a few reconciliation prayers we must first understand the nature of reconciliation. The word “reconciliation” comes from the Greek root allasso which carries the idea of change. To be reconciled means there is a change in the relationship. Former enemies become friends. In order for reconciliation to happen someone needs to take the initiative.
Sin left our relationship with God fractured. However, God took all the initiative and sent His Son, Jesus to pay the penalty for our sin so that we might be reconciled to God. The way our reconciliation is completed is by us responding to the forgiveness Christ offered. When we receive God’s gracious offer of forgiveness, God forgives and restores us to a right relationship with Him. This is where our journey of reconciliation begins.
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What Does the Bible Teach Us about Reconciliation?
The Bible teaches us that reconciliation is a priority of God’s. He took the initiative to orchestrate reconciliation between us and Him by having Jesus die on the cross. Through His shed blood, the provision for our reconciliation was accomplished! He now invites us to become ministers of reconciliation in the world around us. The Apostle Paul wrote, “All this from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19a). In other words, it is our job to do everything possible to pursue reconciliation.
The writer of Hebrews wrote, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy” (Hebrews 12:14). Jesus Himself taught us that if we are giving an offering and remember that our neighbor or friend has something against us, we should go be reconciled before leaving our offering. (Matthew 5:23-24).
Forgiveness is foundational to reconciliation. Paul wrote that we are to “Bear with each other and forgiven one another if any of you have grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13). As we learn to offer others forgiveness, we can move forward and pursue reconciliation. This can be tricky business so it’s best to begin with reconciliation prayer. As we bring our relationships before the Lord asking the Holy Spirit to soften hearts and bring restoration, we often see relationships transformed.
This is why interceding on behalf of our relationships using reconciliation prayer is crucial. What does this look like? Here are 5 powerful reconciliation prayers to get you started. Each one is based on Scripture.
1. A Reconciliation Prayer for Our Relationship with God
Oh, Holy One, I realize I am sinful and that I have broken your commands. I haven’t loved You above all else. I haven’t loved my neighbor as much as I have loved myself. I have at times been selfish or arrogant. Lord, I ask for your mercy and forgiveness. I place my trust in the fact that Jesus died and shed His blood for my sin. Thank You, Lord! I can’t imagine such love! I yield my life to You. I praise You that in Christ, I have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. I ask You now, holy One, to take over my life. I surrender to You and want You to be the Lord of my life.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” Ephesians 1:7-8
“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through this life.” Romans 5:10
“Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1
2. A Reconciliation Prayer Between Family Members
Holy One, my heart is so heavy over my relationship with ____________________ (put in name of family member). You see how fractured our relationship is. Lord God, I now confess the mistakes I have made in my relationship with ____________________ (put in name of family member). I confess to You that at times I have been too harsh, critical, sarcastic, or controlling. Uproot these attitudes in me I pray. I receive your forgiveness, Lord. Holy Spirit, show me what it looks like to humble myself and apologize. Help me not to allow any bitterness to creep into my heart. Show me what it looks like to make amends. Just as You went to great lengths to reconcile me to yourself, help me to go the extra mile to be reconciled with _______________ (put in name of family member). Show me exactly what I need to do, Lord. I surrender to You. I pray that ______________________ (put in name of family member) would experience your love and blessing today. May he know how deeply he is loved by you.
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble ad defile many.” Hebrews 12:14
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3. A Reconciliation Prayer for Marriage
Oh Holy One, I praise You that marriage was your idea and that You long for our marriage to reflect Your glory. I ask you to give me a humble spirit in my marriage. Where there are differences between us, teach us to bend towards each other. Holy Spirit, search my heart. Bring conviction about any attitude that is blocking reconciliation. Where there is a critical spirit, uproot and replace it with a heart of mercy. Where there is resentment replace it with love and forgiveness. Lord, I know that our marriage is a beautiful place to exercise grace. I pray that You would heal any broken place in our sexual love. I pray that forgiveness and mercy would flow from my heart. I know that your desire is that our marriage would grow both of us more into the image of your son, Jesus Christ. Lord, I pray that even our sexual love would reflect your glory. Help us to freely offer this gift to each other. Father, just as You have offered me grace and forgiveness, help me to lovingly, continually extend that grace to my spouse.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-8
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife and likewise the wife to her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:3
4. A Reconciliation Prayer Between Friends
Lord God, You see what has happened in this friendship. Your Word teaches me that a true friend loves at all times. Oh, Father God, my heart is heavy. I ask You to search my heart and show me anything I have done that has hurt my friend’s feelings. I confess to you that at times, I have been selfish and have spoken thoughtless words. Lord, show me also where I have been guilty of taking offense. Forgive me, Lord. I praise You that You continually offer grace. I pray now Holy Spirit that You would bring healing and reconciliation to this friendship. I pray blessing over my friend, Lord. I pray that her marriage would be blessed, that her children would thrive and that her finances would prosper. I pray favor over every aspect of her life. I pray most of all that she would be rooted and grounded in the love of Christ. That she would know the hope to which she has been called and that she would know the power of the resurrection in every area of life.
“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17
“Bear with each other and forgive one another.” Colossians 3:13
5. A Reconciliation Prayer for Racial Division
Father God, I know that Your heart is that there be complete reconciliation racially. Father your Word teaches me that someone day, people from every nation, tribe and tongue will gather before Your throne. Search my heart, Oh God, and show me any hint of prejudice that lingers there. I pray that I would see every person as a beautiful creature created in Your image. Lord, thank You that each race reflects some aspect of your glory. I praise You that You created different skin colors, eye colors, cultural traditions, and tribal rituals. Yet, You long for each one to come to know You personally and to be included in the family of Christ. Thank You that for all eternity, there will be no division. People from every nation, tribe, and tongue will praise Your Holy Name.
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne, and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’.” Revelation 7:9-10
Learning to intercede with reconciliation prayer is a great way to bring our hearts into perfect union with God’s. As a result, we’re going to see more unity in our marriages, friendships, families, and cultures.
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