A Prayer for Repenting of My Resentment
The godless in heart harbor resentment. Job 36:13
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you” Eph. 4:31-32
Dear heavenly Father, whether it’s thoughtless words spoken by a trusted friend or bad traffic when I’m running late; the empty milk carton when I want cereal or the foolish decision of a government official; the new ding in my fifteen-year-old car or the old hurt that generates fresh pain, getting resentful and bitter never helps; it only hurts.
To harbor resentment is nothing short of harboring a criminal, for resentment is bent on criminal activity: stealing peace, vandalizing sleep, robbing relationship, killing kindness, murdering hope, infecting the innocent with deadly toxins, to name a few of resentment’s crimes. There’s no greater waste of energy than resentment. There’s no more destructive form of gardening than fertilizing roots of bitterness.
But worst of all, Father, resentment and bitterness are a contradiction—a blatant misrepresentation of who you are and how you relate to us in Jesus. For if anyone has a right to hold a grudge, to keep a record of wrongs done, to rehearse and remember our sins against us, it is you—yet your steadfast love never comes to an end; your mercies are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness and kindness.
Indeed, Father, you don’t treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is your love for those who fear you; as far as the east is from the west, that’s how far you’ve removed our transgressions from us. You’re the Father who has compassion on us as your children (Ps. 103:10-13). You show us neither vexation of spirit nor exasperation of heart, so great is your love for us in Jesus.
So Father, by the love that sent Jesus to the cross and by the power that raised him from the dead, continue to heal and change me. I don’t want to be godless in attitude, but grace-full in heart. I want to be free even from resenting other people’s resentment. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ wonderful and merciful name.