Read: Luke 23:32-47
When you are suffering from pain and thirst, it is hard to see beyond your own needs. Yet Jesus, seeing his tormentors, forgave them as He was suffering on the cross. To pray for help in the midst of suffering is understandable; to pray for those causing the agony surpasses human understanding.
A.W. Pink considered the example of Christ’s attitude that reaches the hearts considered untouchable. He said, “In praying for His enemies, not only did Christ set before us a perfect example of how we should treat those who wrong and hate us, but He also taught us never to regard anyone as beyond the reach of prayer. Christian reader, never lose hope. Does it seem a waste of time for you to continue praying for that man, that woman, that wayward child of yours? Does their case seem to become more hopeless every day? Does it look as though they have gotten beyond the reach of divine mercy? Remember then the cross. Christ prayed for His enemies. Learn then not to look on any as beyond the reach of prayer.”
Amazing things happened at Calvary. A hardened criminal found forgiveness. A Roman centurion acknowledged Jesus as the Son of God. Why? What softened their hearts to accept the truth? Might it have been Jesus’ willingness to forgive their hatred? Maybe Jesus’ prayer to His Father to forgive them pricked their hearts. People may run far from God. But they are never beyond the reach of prayer. So continue to pray without losing hope.