A simple prayer walk in 5 stages. For each stage I encourage you to read the prayer or reflection and then walk for a while, pondering the thoughts of the prayers or the insight of the reflection. When you are ready, read the next stage:
1. A Prayer for Palm Sunday
Lord God, Palm Sunday is approaching, and this past year has brought tumultuous times and flashes of anxiety and uncertainty that none of us have experienced in our lifetimes. The fragility our world and of life have been put front and centre in our lives. It has been hard to plan or prepare when you do not know what is next. We look to you, Father, to guide us this Holy Week and remind us of our Saviour. Help us to not “let our hearts be troubled” but to trust in you. Thank you that you have given us the wisdom we need to live each day of our lives to the full purpose You have designed for us to live. Amen.
2. A Palm Sunday Prayer to Rejoice in Hope
Lord God, Palm Sunday is a reminder of the unexpected, yet fully anticipated, King of Kings. Jesus did not look like the Messiah that the people hoped for. The way He entered the Holy City of Jerusalem on that day, riding a young donkey as a significant sign of peace and fulfillment of prophecy, did not align with their expectations of a military conqueror. Much of our daily lives don’t align with our expectations, Father. So much of our lives don’t make sense. This Palm Sunday, let us embrace the unexpected entrance of our Saviour, Jesus. He is Peace. Let us apply this incredible truth to our lives. Peace mattered to Jesus. He came to bring us Peace. He is peace. How quickly we forget the Peace we possess in Christ! Remind us, minute by minute, of the peace that you offer. Lord God, we need your Peace. Pour you peace on me now. Amen.
3. Thank Jesus for the Pain He Faced for Us
Jesus knew, riding into the Holy City amidst pomp and circumstance, what He would have to face in the coming days. How many of us wouldn’t continue on if we knew the worst possible ending was inevitable? Jesus continued on to accomplish God’s will, in peace, not panic. Though He passionately cried tears of blood, asking that there be any other way, Jesus obediently and peacefully walked to the cross because it was the only way. What sustains us in difficult times? When trouble or trials or pain come our way … who do we turn to? How can this idea that Jesus has already walked the most difficult path help or inspire us on the path that we are travelling? Imagine that Palm Sunday parade, palms waving, crowd cheering … as Jesus comes. Imagine your response to Jesus coming to you today.
4. Living with Purpose and Hope
Reflect on the some of the events of Holy Week
- Palm Sunday
- the cleansing of the temple
- the woman giving her two coins
- the fig tree which did not produce figs
- the dinner with Simon where the woman anointed Jesus with perfume … and Jesus affirmed her.
- the last supper
- the garden of Gethsemane…
What images, characters, ideas, words remain with you? What things of significance give us a hope – a hope that can help us live our lives with purpose?
Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
Jesus showed us the example to follow. What does it mean for you to deny yourself? What is your cross you need to pick up? What does it mean for you to follow Jesus today? This week?
5. A Palm Sunday Prayer for Joyful Worship
Thank You, Father, for the life You have given us to live. For the sun rising to start another day, and the reminders of Your creation surrounding us.
As we walk amongst your creation, we witness Your creative hand. As we look closely at the nature around us, we see your love in the detail. With grateful hearts we praise You, God, for who You are and who we are in You.
Let the Peace of Christ’s Palm Sunday entrance remain in our memories. God our Father, help us to act in grace and peace this Holy Week, knowing You are incredibly close.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen