Jesus’ Great Prayer of Compassion: “Father Forgive Them”

father forgive them


Luke 23:34a

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


At the beginning of Jesus’ crucifixion, I suppose just after the soldiers had nailed Him to the cross and stood it up, perhaps while they were casting lots for His garments, He prayed this prayer. What great compassion He had for them, because He knew they didn’t fully understand who He was, or the evil of their sin. But this prayer was not only for the soldiers. I believe it extends to all of us. Thus, whenever we experience God’s forgiveness, I think it is, in part, due to this prayer.

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10 Ways to Build Up Your Confidence in God



  1. Regularly repent and confess your sins. Let His blood make you clean so you can come to Him with confidence (1 Jn. 1:9).
  2. Welcome trials. Trials will build your character and holiness, which in effect will build your faith (Ja. 1:2-4).
  3. Obey Him regularly. When we fear God and obey Him in everything, the Bible says He will give us a strong confidence (Prov. 14:26-27).
  4. Meditate on the Word every day. Meditation will help you get to know God and His Word. It will help you to abide in Christ and to keep your mind on things above (Col. 3:1-2).
  5. Practice self-talk. This is part of what we do when we meditate. When you speak the Word of God back to yourself, those words will empower your faith.
  6. Fellowship with others. Don’t neglect to meet together with other Christians. This is God’s designed way to keep us encouraged (Heb. 10:24-25).
  7. Read about the heroes of faith in the Bible and from other Christian books. Imitate their confidence (Heb. 13:7) and let them be your heroes.
  8. Purpose to spend more time in prayer. Through prayer faith (confidence) is exercised and made more perfect.
  9. Constantly listen to God and cherish the desires He gives you. Pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s urgings. He will direct you in how to trust Him.
  10. Visualize what God wants to give you. If you have prayed about something and you are sure God wants you to receive it, then visualize it and believe that it is already yours (Mk. 11:24).


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Four Foundation Stones of Confidence in Prayer


There are at least four elements we should consider as a basis for our confidence in prayer.



We can be confident when we approach His throne because Christ our High Priest shed His blood for us and cleansed us inside and out; hence, on the basis of His blood we may come to Him courageously (or boldly), without fear, and with assurance that He will hear us and lovingly give us what we need.



A second basis for confidence is God’s Word. Through His Word we can know His will, and therefore, we are able to pray more directly and specifically, according to His will.



Thirdly, confidence is based on God’s character. Even if we had no definite promise from His Word, if we have some knowledge of His past mercies, and if we have grown to know His goodness, than we have a strong foundation for confidence in Him.



A forth foundation stone for confidence in prayer is God’s Spirit. We cannot have confidence in prayer without His Spirit; for it is the Sprit that urges us to believe and trust in Him. If we have The Holy Spirit we have every reason to be confident.

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Why do we need to pray with confidence?

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Why do we need to pray with confidence? God knows we are human. Why can’t we just pray the way we want? This is an important question. I suppose we could pray any way we want, but where would it get us? Certainly, if you insist on not following the Biblical way to pray—with confidence—your prayers will be useless, empty, like the prayers of the hypocrite and the pagan (Matt. 6:5-8). God does not honor prayers that are not of faith (Heb. 11:6). If we expect God to answer our prayers we must have confidence in Him. It won’t work any other way. The Psalmist says in Psalms 115:3, “Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases him” (NIV). In other words, He is in charge and He makes the rules. We must not argue with Him or disagree with Him. In fact, if we want to have any joy in this life, we must try to obey Him in everything, including how we pray; for He has designed everything the way it should be, for our good and for His glory.

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Jesus’ Last Prayers were Simple, Direct and Earnest


 Just after Jesus’ prayer, in John 17, He and His disciples went out to the Mount of Olives. And when they came to a place named Gethsemane (The Garden of Gethsemane), He told His disciples to sit and wait for Him; and He took Peter, James and John to another place nearby to pray.


Matthew 26:39, 42 (also Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42)

He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”… 42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”


When they arrived at the place, He felt so deeply distressed that He told the three to sit and wait and pray while He went just a little further to pray alone. Evidently, at this particular time, He required absolute privacy with His Father.

His prayer was simple and direct, revealing exactly what He thought and felt.   His feelings told Him that He didn’t want to do it; He didn’t want to be crucified. So He said to His Father, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me.” But He knew His Father’s will and what He must do; so He also prayed, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

This prayer is an excellent example of how Jesus prayed. He didn’t carefully form His words in order to make a good and righteous prayer, that is, a prayer that would impress those that would hear Him. He prayed simply what He happened to be thinking and feeling. In this case, He was thinking that He really didn’t want to be crucified because it was going to be painful and horrible—suffering for all the sins of the world.   But at the same time He also knew He had to do it—for the sake of God’s will, and for the love of God and mankind.

Jesus prayed basically the same prayer three different times, giving Himself a break between those times of prayer to go back and check on His three comrades. And each time He came back to them, He found them sleeping.

Now, as it happened, during His prayer, probably during the last time he prayed, an angel came to Him and strengthened Him (Luke’s gospel alone records this). And then the very next thing that happened (Lu. 22:44) was that He prayed more earnestly though being in great agony. Therefore, it seems clear that the reason the angel came was to strengthen Him to pray even harder—with more fervency. Here is proof that God wants us to pray and keep praying. And if the situation requires that prayers be more earnest, then He will give us the strength to do it, even if He has to send an angel to help us.


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Approach Problems with Prayer and Patience

Originally posted on Studying Bible Prophecy:



Recently, when faced with

Troubles insurmountable

Temptations there were

To be hasty, rash,

Impatient and rude


God, however,

Beckoned me forward

With prayer and patience

And I knew it was right


Oh praise Him!

The next day with joy

Each problem found

An answer!


Now what can I say

Though problems overwhelm,

Sorrows abound,

And solutions appear distant,

Approach each problem

With prayer and Patience

Expecting God to answer



1 Peter 4:7

The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.


Philippians 4:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Hebrews 4:16

Let us therefore draw near…

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Don’t Let Troubles Hinder the Joy

Originally posted on Studying Bible Prophecy:

010 great

Don’t let the

Troubles of life

Hinder the joy

That God has

Already begun

In you

In fact, embrace

Your troubles

And pray over

Each of them

Knowing that

They will

Produce in you a

More complete



James 1:2-3Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

Nehemiah 8:10 — Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Galatians 5:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18Be joyful always; 17 pray…

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