Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. – 1 Samuel 1:13 (NKJV)
Nowadays, you need to be verbose in prayer for people to realize how much you are suffering. If you remain calm, not talking much about your afflictions, then either you have no problems or you are not suffering enough.
Especially with the latest motivational self-help books asking you to “speak your heart out, tell exactly how you feel, don’t let the emotions remain in your heart”, many Christians are taking this route. Yes, when we tell others aloud about our problems, we feel as if the burden has reduced. But, it is what we feel. In truth, nothing has changed. It is sad that more Christians seek a temporary relief for their problems, when the Prince of peace is waiting to give a permanent solution.
In today’s world, if you even have a headache, you need to post in Facebook; you need to send a tweet about how bad you are feeling; and of course, a photograph on Instagram is a must so that others understand your pain. Then you need to monitor to see how many likes and comments you get, and who gave the first like, and who took time to comment… It is really sad that a generation is wasting their life, instead of spending their time in prayer.
One of the verses about prayers in the Bible is written about Hannah. It says that despite all her sorrows, only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Yet, later she tells Eli that she had poured out her heart before the Lord (v.15). Yes, we can pour our hearts before the Lord without our voices being heard.
This is what our Lord Jesus Christ taught us about prayer. If we read the Sermon of the Mount, in the segment where He deals with prayer, Jesus says to pray in secret so that our Father Who sees in secret will reward us (Matthew 6:6). May the Spirit of God help us to internalize our feelings and pour it out in secret to our loving Father, so that we may receive the rewards He has for us. Amen.
And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last. – Luke 23:46
This is the seventh and the last of the utterances of our Saviour Jesus Christ from the Cross and it is the Word of Rest.
Just like God created the world and its order and finished everything on the Sixth day, Jesus said “It is finished!” as His sixth utterance from the Cross. And God rested on the Seventh day. And the seventh utterance of Jesus is a Word of rest.
Before “It is finished!”, the cry of the Lord is, “My God, My God why have You forsaken Me?” After it is finished, it is “Father”. Yes, dear friend, Jesus Christ has fulfilled the Law and has paid the price in full. Before it was “our God”; before we felt as if He has forsaken us. Not anymore, because God, Who is the Father of Jesus Christ, is also our Father in heaven.
Before “It is finished!”, Jesus felt as if the hands of Father had let Him down. But, once it is done, it is into those same hands, Jesus commits His spirit. We can rest knowing that the eternal God is our Refuge and underneath are His everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27).
Before “It is finished!”, Jesus asked His Father, “Why have You forsaken Me?”. But now, He says, “I commit My spirit.” Dear friend, commit your life to our Father now. Commit your future to Him. Commit your everything to Him. As Paul said, we know Whom we have believed. Believe in our Father Who gave His only Son for us. May that faith bring rest unto our life. Amen.
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” – Luke 23:34
The first of the seven utterances of our LORD Jesus Christ, when He was on the Cross. We are told to forgive others, because Jesus forgave those who crucified Him. But, Jesus did not forgive them, He prayed for their forgiveness.
On numerous accounts, we see in the Gospels, Jesus forgiving the sins of many sinners. When the Scribes questioned His authority to forgive sins, Jesus clearly tells them that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins (Matthew 9:6). So, why didn’t He forgive the sins of those who crucified Him? Jesus could have simply said, “I forgive you, for you do not know what you do.” Instead, He prays to Father to forgive them.
There could be many reasons for this. But one of the reasons, IMHO, could be that Jesus is setting an example for what He preached in Matthew 5:44-45.
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”
In His infinite wisdom, our Lord knows that there will be certain offenses against us, that no matter how much we want to forgive those who offended us, we will not be able to. There will be certain bitterness remaining in our hearts. So, Jesus instructs us to pray for their forgiveness. As a Man, it would have been very difficult for Jesus to forgive those who were crucifying Him. So, He prays to His Father to forgive them. Yes, He is a High Priest Who understands our weaknesses.
Dear friend, there may be some who have hurt you so much, that your life has become bitter. You have tried your best to forgive them, but it is of no use. So, now is the example that the Saviour has set before us. Let us pray for them. Let us ask the Father our God to forgive them. If He forgives them, then He will surely pour His abundant grace into our hearts, that we will be able to forgive too.