I have seen the full extent of God’s unending grace, forgiveness, and mercy throughout my life. As a theologian, I have also learned how to forgive others through the profoundly wise words of the Book of Psalms.
Recently, in one of the Bible study group sessions I host, a few people brought up the subject of forgiveness, and as a person who has intensely meditated on Psalms, I thought the book would be a great teaching point.
I wrote this article to further help my attendees and other Christians better understand some of the best Psalms you can read for forgiveness.
7 Best Psalms To Read For Forgiveness
“Do not hold against me the sins of my youth or my rebellious acts. Because you are faithful to me, extend to me your favor, O Lord.”
In this verse, the writer pleads with the Lord to show them compassion and mercy by forgiving his sins and recalling the transgressions he has committed.
The Psalm, therefore, serves as a prayer Christians can recite for forgiveness from God for their evil and rebellious actions.
“The Lord is compassionate and merciful; he is patient and demonstrates great loyal love. He does not always accuse,
and does not stay angry. He does not deal with us as our sins deserve; he does not repay us as our misdeeds deserve. For as the skies are high above the earth, so his loyal love towers over his faithful followers. As far as the eastern horizon is from the west, so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions from us.”
These scriptures explain how God is merciful and patient with His followers. He extends grace to them and will remove the guilt of sin if they repent.
These Psalms can be read when seeking the endless, forgiving nature of the Lord.
“But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and merciful God. You are patient and demonstrate great loyal love and faithfulness.”
Here, God’s compassion, faithfulness, loyalty, patience, and love are demonstrated and described as limitless. Believers can reference this verse to remind themselves how He will forgive them for all their sins upon repentance.
“As far as the eastern horizon is from the west, so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions from us.”
This verse explains how God can remove our sins as far as the East is from the West. The weight and guilt of sin can trouble God’s followers, so this Psalm promises that the Lord’s mercy will completely relieve us of all the ill associated with rebellion.
It offers comfort and assurance.
“O Lord, listen to me. Pay attention to my plea for mercy. If you, O Lord, were to keep track of sins, O Lord, who could stand before you? But you are willing to forgive, so that you might be honored.”
In this scripture, the writer vehemently cries out for God’s mercy. He further beseeches the Lord Almighty to hear his voice, which is a testament to the fact that God hears His people, as illustrated by the previous relationships He had with believers.
There is forgiveness only in the Lord, and these verses remind Christians of His unwavering mercy.
“Hide your face from my sins. Wipe away all my guilt. Create for me a pure heart, O God. Renew a resolute spirit within me. Do not reject me. Do not take your holy Spirit away from me.”
Here, Psalms gives a prayer to ask God for a clean, pure heart. By reading this scripture, Christians can be renewed and removed from their sins.
It also beseeches the Lord to never leave the reader despite their sinful nature and actions.
“The Lord is both kind and fair; that is why he teaches sinners the right way to live.”
It is written in this scripture that the Lord is fair and kind, and He teaches us the right way to live. God is described as understanding, empathetic, and sympathetic towards us.
It also serves as a reminder that according to His will, it is only just that we also show the same love, mercy, and compassion to other sinners.
What Is The Best Psalms To Read For Repentance?
According to scholars, Psalm 32:5 is the best Psalm to read for repentance. Here, David, the psalmist, describes how the Lord forgave his sins once he acknowledged and confessed them.
Biblical teachers, therefore, suggest that when read, this verse reminds believers of the importance of repenting for their sins since no matter how grave the rebellion may be, God is always ready to show compassion and pardon them.
Many also believe Psalm 51:3-5 reiterates the importance of repentance as David, again, openly states his sinful, evil actions, begs for mercy, and only then is he forgiven.
What Is The Best Psalms To Read When You Want To Forgive Someone?
Numerous theologians believe Psalms 40:2-3 are some of the best Psalms you can read when you want to forgive someone.
In these verses, the Lord gave a fresh start to the psalmist, David, and similarly, scholars think we, as Christians, are called on to extend the same grace to others.
The scripture tells the beautiful story of how God’s forgiveness pulled David out of a slimy pit and restored joy and relief; therefore, scholars believe we should do the same and forgive the sins committed against us.
Can You Read These Psalms for Someone Else?
Many Biblical scholars believe that the Book of Psalms, as a whole, is prayerful scripture with very personal elements to impart devotional implications on the reader.
Such verses about seeking forgiveness from the Lord or learning to pardon those who wrong us are special requests we make with different contextual circumstances depending on the reader.
With that being said, however, other theologians believe Psalms (and the Bible as a whole) have a universal element that most Christians can relate to, and, therefore, communal reading or reading them for others is not a problem.
They put forth arguments that doing this can have several benefits, such as strengthening the Church, creating connections, propelling evangelism, and helping believers stay accountable to one another.
As a Christian, I have always been passionate about sharing God’s word with young people. This inspired me to pursue a Certificate in Christian Education, an Undergraduate degree in Religious Studies, and a Graduate degree in Theology. My knowledge in school and experience from dealing with the youth made me an expert at discussing Christian-related topics. I feel privileged working as the Coordinator of the Christian Youth Ministry at Christian Faith Guide. You can read more about me on the about us page.