LHM Lenten Devotion – March 14, 2014 “Unanswered Prayers”

 

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Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Reverend Wayne Palmer

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“Unanswered Prayers”

March 14, 2014

Lenten devo cover 2014Read Matthew 8:5-13.
TEXT: Why are You so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? (See Psalm 22:1.)

On the cross Jesus quotes the beginning of Psalm 22, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Each verse of Psalm 22 is made up of couplets-two phrases linked together to make the meaning more clear and powerful. Jesus’ first spoken phrase (described in yesterday’s devotion) speaks of being cut off, abandoned, and forsaken by His Father on account of our sins. At the same time, however, it shows Him tightly holding to His Father in faith: “My God, My God.” The unspoken second phrase of that couplet describes that forsakenness. “Why are You so far from saving me, from the words of My groaning?”

For hours Jesus has been groaning in pain on the cross. And like the words of a prayer, those bitter groans have been continually rising to His Father’s throne. Yet those silent prayers went unanswered, the pain and torment continued. His back turned, the Father ignores His Son’s groaning, refusing to step in and bring an end to the bitter pangs.

Often we find ourselves under heavy burdens in life, crying out to God through our groaning and our tears. Yet, we do not get the relief we so desperately seek. God seems far, far away. He seems not to care, or He seems angry at us for sins we have committed and the times we have been unfaithful. But that is only how it appears to us. God removed all our sins and laid them on Jesus in our place. Jesus was truly cut off and forsaken so our Father would never have to do that to us. Our sins are forgiven for His sake. Thanks be to God for the Spirit’s work in leading us to repentance-and to faith.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, sometimes we call upon You to save us, to hear the words of our groaning, and You seem far away. Remind us that You are our ever-present help in times of trouble. Amen.

 

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