Forgiving in God’s Strength
Forgiveness seemed an impossibility for Pauline, especially around the anniversary of Rami’s death. But she eventually became exhausted by her anger and started praying a specific prayer. “I know that I am your daughter,” she prayed, “and I know that I need to forgive, but I can’t forgive. Help me; let me be able to forgive in a way that is real.” Pauline said she prayed that prayer regularly for a year.
Five years after Rami’s death, Pauline and her children were invited to a conference focusing on forgiveness. At one point during the conference, a pastor asked everyone to close their eyes and imagine a person they needed to forgive. Pauline immediately imagined the man who had killed her husband. She knew God wanted her to forgive that man, whoever he was.
On the last day of the conference, when the pastor asked if anyone wanted prayer to help them forgive someone, Pauline responded. As other Christians gathered around her to pray, she cried out to God, “I want to forgive!” Pauline said in that moment she felt the Holy Spirit touch her soul. “I opened my eyes and felt like a new person!” she said.
“I realized that not to forgive is a sin. I used to think that it was my right not to forgive.”―Pauline Ayyad
In 2017, authorities arrested the man believed to be Rami’s killer. Pauline said the arrest at first rekindled the anger she had worked so hard to overcome. But God reminded Pauline about her testimony, that Rami had died because of his faith in Christ and that she had already forgiven Rami’s killer. “So I repented of my thoughts,” she said. “Then I posted online that I had renewed my forgiveness toward the man and prayed for a blessing in his life.”
“You cannot forgive by your own strength, but when you have this will, a real will, an honest will to forgive and you put it in front of God, God will help you to forgive,” Pauline said. “I thought I had forgiven already, but God prepared me until I could enjoy true forgiveness.”
You Can Help Persecuted Christians Like Pauline
Hear Pauline’s story, in her own words. Listen to Pauline Ayyad’s interview on VOM Radio.
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