Our Father in Heaven, we are here because we are convinced that the Way of the Cross of the Son of God was not simply a journey to where Jesus was executed. We believe that His every step, every action and every word, as well as everything felt and done by those who took part in this tragic drama, continues to speak to us. We relate in his suffering and death too, as Jesus reveals to us the truth about God and man. Forgive us, Father, when we often think of the Cross of Jesus as something we have to get through, yet we get through for the purpose of getting into it. Allow us to remember always that the Cross represents only one thing for us, which is the complete, entire, absolute identification with the Lord Jesus Christ, so that no identification is more real to us than this.
God, may you let us experience and understand what it means to have a part in the Cross with Jesus. Help us to see and experience, in the Holy Spirit, the love hidden within the Cross of Jesus. To as well recognize, in the light of this love, our own cross;
to take up that cross once more and, be strengthened by His love; and to continue our journey through life, in imitation of the one who endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Holy Spirit, enlighten us on how the first of the seven cross-sayings of Jesus presents Him in the attitude of prayer. May we learn from how His public ministry had opened with prayer, and here we see it closing in prayer. Surely, He has left us an example! May we see that even when His hands would no longer minister to the sick, for they are nailed to the cross; His feet would no longer carry him on errands of mercy, for they are fastened to the cruel tree; He would no longer instruct the apostles, for they have forsaken Him and fled; He occupy himself in the ministry of prayer! We thank you for giving us a lesson to follow.
Almighty God, may we reach such a level of intimacy with God that the only thing that can account for our prayer life is that it has become one with the prayer life of Jesus Christ. Help us see how Jesus exchanged His life for our own sake. When prayer seems to be unanswered, may we stop trying to place the blame on someone else as it is always a trap of the enemy. When we think that You were not able to hear our prayers, help us understand that there is always a reason, that You use these times to give us deeper personal instruction, especially given to each of us.
God, may we realize that 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. May we willingly follow as Christ prayed for his murderers. May this give us an encouragement to pray for the very chief of sinners and never lose hope. Help us realize that this is not a waste of time for us to continue praying for that particular man, that woman, or one of our wayward children. If this case seem to become more hopeless every day or it look as though they had gone beyond the reach of Your mercy, may we be reminded of the cross, where Jesus prayed for His enemies. May you give us the strength to persevere and to look on any as beyond the reach of prayer.
Father, help us see that the cross-intercession of Your Son for his enemies met with a marked and definite answer. May we see that the answer is seen in the conversion of the three thousand souls on the day of Pentecost. As Peter say in his words, he knew that these people may have acted in ignorance, as they did also to their rulers. May we realize that this corresponds with our Your words: “they know not what they do.” We thank You for forgiving our ignorance.
Lord Jesus Christ, fill our hearts with the light of your Spirit, so that by following you on Your final journey we may come to know the price of our redemption and become worthy partaker in the fruits of your passion, death and resurrection. We declare that You live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.