Forgiveness is one of the most powerful weapons that we are given in the word of God. God has given us the power to ask Him to forgive someone else’s sins in 1 John 5:16: If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life.
When we ask for God’s forgiveness over a person, it clears up the darkness around them, and they can hear the Lord for themselves. By asking forgiveness for a person, the sin has no more right to separate a person from God. It brings them enough “life,” so that they can see and hear clearly to repent to the Lord.
Using this Kingdom principle can bring about reformation in the life of an individual.
On the cross, Jesus said “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” The people who were crucifying him were guilty of great sin. There was a veil over their hearts and minds as they crucified the very One sent to save them. When Jesus asked the Father to forgive them for what they were doing, the veil was taken away because the Father forgave their sin.
We can see the fruit from Jesus’s forgiveness when the centurion and his friends “saw the earthquake and all that happened.” They repented and said, “Surely this was the Son of God.” (Matthew 27:54)
When Jesus asked for their forgiveness, He lifted the veil of darkness that was around them, enabling the Centurion and his friends to see Jesus for who He really was—the giver of Life.
Moses and Aaron
The same thing happened when Aaron sinned against God by building a golden calf. God was so angry that He wanted to destroy Aaron (Deut. 9:20). Moses asked forgiveness on behalf of his brother, and Aaron repented. God was then able to use Aaron to establish the priesthood as He set up His Kingdom.
Moses essentially said, “Lord, forgive Aaron, for he doesn’t know what he is doing.” Then life was given to Aaron and his sons. Because Aaron and his sons were given life, Israel had a reformation of the priesthood that had been warped by years of slavery in Egypt.
Reforming Lives Through Forgiveness
God wants everyone to have abundant life. Sin separates us from Him and creates a veil over our hearts. We cannot receive His life if we are covered in sin.
Asking God’s forgiveness on behalf of others is a mighty tool for the tearing down of strongholds. When the blood of Jesus is applied to our sins, it clears a path for the Holy Spirit to bring us to repentance and release a reformation in our lives.
Personally, my prayer team has seen this happen often. We have prayed for God to forgive someone, the veil has fallen from their mind, and they have repented.
Specifically, I remember praying for a little boy who was adopted. Year after year, the little boy would not receive Jesus into his heart. When I sat down to pray with his mother, the Holy Spirit prompted us to pray for forgiveness for some witchcraft that his birth father had been involved in. That very night, the mother called me and said that the boy had accepted Jesus!
Another time a sister in Christ came against a deliverance ministry that we were starting. She invited me to her home to tell me how wrong I was in what I was doing. I was floored at her accusation because I had so many confirmations from the Lord that we were headed in the right direction. When I left her house, I immediately heard the Lord say, “Run to the mercy seat on her behalf!” I immediately began to ask God to give her mercy, and I asked Him to forgive her for coming against us.
A few months later, I was sharing with a mutual friend what happened when I visited her home and how God implored me to forgive her and to ask for mercy for her. My friend’s eyes got really wide, and she said, “Tisha, I can’t tell you exactly what happened. But I want you to know that I was there when the Lord had mercy on her just a few weeks ago!” The Lord brought her to repentance, and she was reformed. But I had to activate the truth of 1 John 5:16 and ask forgiveness for her because she had no idea that she was in sin.
Reforming Nations Through Forgiveness: Daniel's Example
Forgiveness can also bring about reformation in the life of a nation.
Daniel modeled “identificational” repentance when he asked for forgiveness in Daniel 9 for all of the sins of his ancestors. Remember—Daniel was only a child when he was carted off into exile in Babylon. The sins he asks forgiveness for in Daniel 9 are not sins that he committed; they are sins that his ancestors committed:
I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: "O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. (Daniel 9:4-5)
After Daniel prayed this prayer, the door was opened, and the Israelites were able to return to Jerusalem and begin to rebuild. Daniel asked forgiveness for his ancestors and brothers, God gave them life, and the re-formation of Israel began.
We, too, need to identify with the sins of our ancestors and begin to ask for forgiveness. Many people are doing this over the history of our nation, but we also need to address our communities. Start by researching what kinds of sins have been committed in your region. Look through some history books and find out how your community was founded. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what kinds of sins have been committed and watch Him go to work on your behalf. God wants to bring our nation life.
Life is released and reformation begins when we ask for forgiveness.