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Prayers to Remove Bitterness

Prayers to Remove Bitterness

Bitterness can take root deep in our hearts, poisoning our outlook and relationships. It breeds resentment, anger, and vengeance. Bitterness prevents us from fully receiving God’s grace and healing. The good news is that through prayer, we can ask God to remove the bitterness from our hearts. By surrendering it to Him, we can experience freedom and joy.

What is Bitterness?

Bitterness is often described as a resentment that is held onto long after the original offense. It comes from unresolved hurt, anger and pain. Bitterness causes us to replay the offense over and over in our minds. We stew on it, feed it, and let it grow.

Bitterness distorts our view of others and situations. It prevents us from seeing things clearly. We put others into “boxes” and make unfair judgements. Bitterness causes us to assume the worst in people rather than giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Why is Bitterness Harmful?

Bitterness is extremely destructive to us spiritually, mentally, emotionally and even physically. Here are some of the ways bitterness harms us:

  • It imprisons us in the past and prevents growth. We become obsessed with past hurts rather than moving forward.
  • It hurts us more than the person we are bitter against. We think we are hurting them but we are really only hurting ourselves.
  • It damages relationships. Bitter people are difficult to live and work with. Bitterness makes true intimacy impossible.
  • It leads to anger, resentment, and hatred. These emotions are the opposite of God’s love.
  • It steals joy. Bitter people are usually unhappy, critical and complaining. Bitterness drains the joy out of life.
  • It leads to depression and health issues. Ongoing bitterness releases stress hormones in the body, harming physical health.
  • It leads to bad decisions and self-destructive behavior. Bitterness clouds judgement and perspective.
  • It mars our Christian witness. The world takes note when Christians harbor bitterness rather than practicing grace and forgiveness.

Why Do We Become Bitter?

There are many reasons we allow the poison of bitterness to infect our hearts. Understanding the root causes can help. Some common reasons include:

  • We’ve been hurt, mistreated, abused, judged unfairly, or taken advantage of. The pain feels unjustified.
  • We feel offended over something someone said or did. Their words or actions felt disrespectful.
  • We feel betrayed. Someone we trusted let us down. The disappointment runs deep.
  • We feel abandoned. Someone left when we needed them most. We felt rejected.
  • We feel slighted. We think someone intentionally ignored or excluded us.
  • We feel envious. Someone else received an opportunity, position, or blessing we desired.
  • We feel powerless. We don’t know how to resolve the situation or change things.

Why is it Hard to Let Go of Bitterness?

Even when we can identify the root causes of bitterness, it can still be extremely difficult to release it. Here are some reasons bitterness takes hold and won’t let go:

  • Our anger feels justified. What was done feels unfair and wrong. We don’t want to let the person “off the hook”.
  • We think holding onto bitterness punishes the offender. We want them to hurt like we do.
  • We fear letting go gives them power over us. We don’t want to appear weak.
  • We’ve rehearsed the bitterness so long, it feels like part of us. It’s our identity.
  • We secretly like feeling morally superior, like a martyr. Bitterness feeds our pride.
  • We don’t know how else to cope with the intense hurt and disappointment.
  • We doubt God’s ability to heal and restore us. We lack faith.
  • We enjoy commiserating with others about our bitterness. It bonds us together.
  • We forget how damaging bitterness is. We underestimate its poison.

Why Should We Release Bitterness?

Releasing bitterness is an act of obedience to God’s Word and it frees us to walk in spiritual wholeness. Here are some compelling reasons to surrender it:

  • God commands us to forgive others as He has forgiven us (Colossians 3:13). Forgiveness is not optional for believers.
  • Bitterness gives the devil a foothold in our lives (Ephesians 4:27). We must not empower our spiritual enemy.
  • It blocks our prayers from being heard (Psalm 66:18). Our prayers are hindered by unresolved bitterness.
  • It defiles many and can spread widely (Hebrews 12:15). Like a cancer, bitterness can infect others.
  • It robs us of fellowship with God (1 John 1:5-7). As long as we harbor bitterness, we remain distant from God.
  • It leads to many other sins (Hebrews 12:15). Bitterness is the root that bears bad fruit.

Releasing bitterness aligns us with God’s heart and opens the door for His healing and freedom.

Prayers for Deliverance From Bitterness

Through the power of prayer, we can break free from the burden of bitterness. Here are some sample prayers to release it to God:

“Lord, I confess I have harbored bitterness in my heart toward _. I know this has grieved Your Spirit. Your Word says if I do not forgive others, You will not forgive me. I want to walk in forgiveness. Please help me let go of my bitterness. I release _ to You. I ask You to remove the anger and pain from my heart. Replace it with Your unconditional love and restore joy to my soul. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

“Father God, I have rehearsed this bitterness for too long. I confess it out loud to You now. I refuse to continue empowering the enemy with my thoughts of anger and revenge. I acknowledge this bitterness has only damaged me, not anyone else. I surrender it at the foot of Your cross. Please wash me clean with the blood of Jesus and fill my heart with Your peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

“Lord, I have allowed this bitterness to define me and my relationship with You. I renounce agreement with this spiritual poison and command it to leave me now, in Jesus’ name. Please send Your Holy Spirit to fill me fresh with new wine. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation. Give me a forgiving heart that reflects Your mercy and grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

“Heavenly Father, I ask you to search my heart and reveal any areas of bitterness. If I am harboring resentment, anger or a desire for vengeance, I confess it as sin and lay it down before You. Only Your blood can wash me clean. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Restore my joy and heal all my pain. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

As we surrender bitterness in prayer, we must also take steps to break free in our thought life and actions. This may involve repentance, confession and reconciliation. We can ask God to give us wisdom and courage for the process. He will lead and guide us into full freedom!

Finding Forgiveness and Healing from Bitterness

Besides prayer, what practical steps can we take to overcome bitterness and walk in forgiveness? Here are some biblical strategies:

  • Repent of bitterness. Acknowledge it as sin before God. Renounce agreement with the enemy.
  • Receive God’s forgiveness. Accept His complete cleansing and redemption through Christ’s sacrifice.
  • Release others through forgiveness. Make a decision to pardon them, let it go, wish them well.
  • Return good for evil. Ask God to bless them rather than retaliate.
  • Realign your thoughts. Refuse to rehearse bitter thoughts. Fill your mind with Scripture instead.
  • Reconcile if possible. Cautiously pursue restored relationship, if appropriate.
  • Rely on God’s grace. Draw continually from His empowering grace and love.
  • Remember Christ’s suffering. His pain outweighed ours. We overcome through His victory.
  • Renew your mindset. Embrace an attitude of humility, compassion, and eternal perspective.
  • Request healing. Ask Jesus to heal your damaged emotions and restore your soul.
  • Relinquish rights. Surrender perceived rights to justice and restitution to God.
  • Rejoice in the Lord. Return to praise and thanksgiving for God’s sovereignty.

As we walk out these steps in obedience to God’s Word, He will bring beauty from the ashes of our bitterness. We will experience the freedom, healing and restoration He is so willing and able to provide.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bitterness

Here are answers to some common questions about bitterness:

What are signs I may be bitter? Anger, resentment, moodiness, complaining, jealousy, inability to let things go, desire for revenge, loss of joy and peace.

Can I be bitter without realizing it?
Yes, bitterness can take root in subtle ways. We justify and downplay it. Ask God to reveal any hidden bitterness.

What if I don’t feel like forgiving someone? Forgiveness is a choice, not just a feeling. Ask God to help you will to forgive even if emotions lag behind.

How do I forgive betrayal and abuse? Serious wounds require deep healing from God. Seek trusted counselors to walk with you through a process of forgiveness.

What if they don’t deserve forgiveness or apologize? Forgiveness is given, not earned. It is to benefit you, not them. Release them even if they never repent or acknowledge wrongdoing.

How long does it take to overcome bitterness? There is no set timeline, as bitterness can form deep roots. Persist in prayer and obedience, trusting God for progress over time. Victory will come!

In Conclusion: Choose Blessing Over Bitterness

Bitterness may feel normal and justified considering what someone did, but it is very destructive. God wants so much more for us! Surrendering bitterness to Him through prayer and obedience frees us to receive His amazing blessings:

  • Freedom from anger, hatred, vengeance, and obsession with past wounds
  • Restored intimacy with God and others
  • Renewal of perspective, joy, contentment, lightness of spirit
  • Confidence in God’s sovereignty, healing, justice
  • Ability to extend mercy and grace to others
  • A powerful testimony of forgiveness

Will you choose to walk in freedom and blessing rather than continuing to drink the poison of bitterness? God is waiting to help you release it fully into His hands. His grace is sufficient. Today is the day for a new beginning!

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