Posted by: Jo | October 7, 2016

Power of the Forgiving Prayer

“Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

(Luke 23: 34)

powerofforgiveness03When one of my daughters was a little girl, she seemed to be having a great deal of trouble relating to one particular school teacher, and every afternoon after coming home from school, would regale me with how terrible the day had been and how mean this particular lady was to her. One night after she had another bad experience, I suggested to her while I was hearing her night time prayers, that perhaps we should ask God about this problem and ask him to bless this lady in some special way. With that my little daughter pulled the sheets over head protesting “Oh no!  I know what he will do, he will make me like her!”  They say wisdom comes from the mouth of babes and these words from a little girl were loaded with wisdom way beyond her years in grasping the power of prayer, especially when laced with forgiveness.

When the disciples begged Jesus to teach them how to pray, they may have been surprised to hear these words;

“Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.” (Luke 11: 4)

Forgiveness was certainly what they expected from God, but now Jesus was emphasising the importance of forgiving others, but was combining the act of forgiveness with prayer, calling on the power that occurs when we submit to God’s authority.

When Paul was writing to the Ephesians, he urged them to forgive others and he mentions the ugly emotions which fill our minds powerofforgiveness04when we have a grievance against someone.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4: 31 – 32)

Those ugly emotions, especially bitterness and anger, that Paul mentions, often stay in our minds long after the incident in which someone hurts us, and in the end can spoil our enjoyment of daily living. God is offering us release from those emotions, which have been proved to actually bring about health problems, by allowing him to change our thoughts, even as my little girl grasped, to the extent of loving and not hating.

Praying for those we love is very easy, but praying for those who have hurt us/ betrayed us/ let us down/ damaged us in any way/ is so much harder.

Jesus’ words from the cross, “Father forgive them” have always amazed me. I would expect him to love those who loved him, but his example to the world was forgiveness for those who were trying to destroy God’s own son.

powerofforgiveness01The wise words of the Book of Proverbs, helps us to get this into perspective, as we realise by coming to the Lord with forgiving hearts for those who hurt us, we reap this benefit.

“When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16: 7)

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Responses

  1. I always pray for the truth to be revealed. If I am wrong , I apologize. If they are wrong I pray Jehovahs hand is heavy upon them to bring about reconciliation and a change of heart in their lives. It is amazing what happens to the hardened hearts. Even if we do not like each other we will respect each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely words Jo and they are closely linked with you last blog. Thoughtless hurtful words can’t be taken back but they can be forgiven.
    Your blog came through better than ever!

    Liked by 1 person


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