By Thy helpless infant years,
By Thy life of want and tears,
By Thy days of deep distress
In the savage wilderness,
By the dread, mysterious hour
Of the_insulting tempter’s pow’r,
Turn, O turn a fav’ring eye;
Hear our penitential cry!
LSB 419 st. 2
“In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.”
Lent can often seem like any other part of the year with the same joys and sorrows that take place, but for Christians it is a time of repentance and penitent prayer. We mourn over our sinful flesh and pray that God would grant us forgiveness. However, when we pray, we are not doing anything in and by ourselves that merits God’s favor. Instead, we join with Jesus in prayer.
Jesus Christ, God incarnate, offered up prayers and supplications as the great High Priest, and God the Father heard His prayers because of His reverence. Our comfort amid our sinful state is that the Father continues to hear our prayers because of Jesus’ intercession in the flesh. Even after His ascension He remains true man with flesh and blood and continues to intercede on our behalf. Thus, His prayer is now our prayer because of what He has done. As Luther said, “By means of such prayer He won for us and communicated to us the power and merit of His sacrifice, that is, forgiveness of sins, righteousness, and eternal life. Prayer like that is valid forever and works its power in all Christendom. In short, He continues to exercise this office as our Mediator and Advocate before God” (AE 13:320).
Let us pray: Lord God, heavenly Father, though we are sinful and unworthy of Your grace, we pray that You would have mercy on us and hear our pleas for forgiveness for the sake of Your Son who makes intercession on our behalf, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Garrett Buvinghausen, Sem. IV)