In many conversations that I have had with other believers and pastors over the years, when it comes to terminal illnesses or the lost condition of a loved one, or for that matter any HARD TRIAL, the final word has always been, “All we can do is pray.” And friends, that is the Truth. When men have done everything imaginable by their own puny power, the conclusion is always, “All we can do is pray.” This is the believer’s attitude, because we know that only God can make the difference. Only God can cure the incurable, and change the hearts of unregenerate men and women.
Suppose in the time of our Lord there were two believing parents that had a son. They loved him dearly and desired that he might have a good life and live unto God. But from an early age the boy seemed destined for trouble. He hung with the wrong crowd and he himself was the wrong crowd. All his life he lived a life of crime and dishonesty. It started out with stealing. But the parents continued to pray. Then it escalated into more serious crimes. But the parents continued to pray. Soon, he grew into a man, and did bodily harm to others. Yet the parents continued to pray. Then one day this malefactor went too far and murdered someone. Did the parents give up hope and cease praying? NO, they prayed all the more!
The day of his trial came and he was found guilty, judged and sentenced to be executed. But the parents still prayed, because as long as he still breathed, there was hope that God might have mercy. Yet the son they loved continued to be a rebel even to his final hours. The day of his execution came, and his loving parents were there to watch. The authorities hung him on a cross along side two other men. But still the parents prayed,” Lord have mercy on my son.”
As they watched him hanging on the cross, he continues to curse with no sense of guilt. Do they still pray or is it too late? No, they pray still. Then when all hope was lost, they hear some words of hope. The man in the middle being crucified was an innocent man, who had taken the place of another notorious criminal. They saw their son listening to this innocent man, as He prayed, "Father forgive them." Their son had heard this man tell the daughters of Jerusalem to weep not for Him, but for themselves. Then an amazing thing happened. Their wicked and rebellious son who had reviled the man in the middle, began to defend him to the other malefactor. He acknowledged that he and the other deserved their condemnation, but not this man named Jesus Christ. God did a work of sovereign grace in their son's heart as he asked most humbly, "Lord when you come into your kingdom, will you please remember me." The Lord of heaven and earth said, “today you will be with me in paradise.” As long as there is still breath, pray, for the Lord just may be merciful. David Eddmenson
David Eddmenson is pastor of Bible Baptist Church, 2015 Beulah Rd., Madisonville, KY 42431. He may be reached by phone at 270-871-1322 or email at...