Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots. (Luke 23:34)
It is easy to ask God to forgive your enemies who are now friends but what would you pray in the midst of persecution; when betrayal is now a reality? In the case of Christ, while He was right in the middle of His crucifixion, His prayer was “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” That is a true prayer from the heart filled with love. On His way to His death, He still prayed compassionate prayers. He was weak, He felt rejection from His Father and abandonment from His followers yet, He showed us an example of a true prayer.
At this point, Jesus could no longer lay hands on the sick nor could He feed the multitude but was still able to minister in prayer to those who were involved in His crucifixion and death. What an awesome lesson for us to learn from. No matter the pain, our prayers, vision and focus must not change from what God desires. The Father was willing to forgive, and Jesus prayed for that forgiveness. His prayer was a fulfilment of His very own words in Matthew 5:44
“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” (Matthew 5:44)
A true prayer sometimes can be hard to pray but must not be done based on our feelings but because of our love for God and the desire to please Him. Pray for someone who has hurt you today and watch God touch their lives.
Father, I ask that You please forgive all those who have spitefully used me and persecuted me.
Father, I ask that You bless every life that has caused me pain by Your mercy.