Prayers for Palm Sunday and Holy Week (March 28-April 3, 2021)

(Portions of this prayer are adapted from the Liturgy for Palm Sunday in the Moravian Book of Worship used by permission of the Interprovincial Board of Communication)

The watchword for the week:
Jesus said, “you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.'” Mark 14:62

Say to those who today possess a heart of fear, “Be strong and fear not. Behold, God will come and save you.”
“He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will gather his lambs in His arms and carry them close to his heart.”
Behold your king is coming to you.
During this week, we seek to walk with Jesus, to learn of his passion for the sins of the world and his desire that we might have eternal life. 

Psalm 31:9-16

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
my eye wastes away from grief, my soul and body also.
10 For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my misery, and my bones waste away.
11 I am the scorn of all my adversaries, a horror to my neighbors, an object of dread to my acquaintances;
those who see me in the street flee from me.
12 I have passed out of mind like one who is dead;
I have become like a broken vessel.
13 For I hear the whispering of many— terror all around!—
as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.
14 But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hand;
deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
16 Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love.

Confession of Sin

If we say that we have no sin, we are simply fooling ourselves, but if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will not only forgive them but cleanse our hearts, making us a new creation.
Our sovereign Redeemer, we join with the people of Jerusalem offering our own shouts of praise and celebration at your coming. Although we often welcome you as did the multitude on Palm Sunday, we have not always understood what that meant. We confess as well that we have stood with the condemning crowd on Good Friday with our betraying thoughts, words, and actions showing our lack of faithfulness. And like Peter we have, at times, denied our relationship with you through our silence. We turn to you for help and forgiveness, gracious Savior, not because we deserve it, but because you are forgiving. Save us from our sinful ways, and restore us to a life of loyalty to you. Amen. 

A silence is observed, allowing each penitent to reflect on their own particular shortcomings and upon the gift of God’s grace.

We are reconciled to the Father through the sacrifice of the Son. Rejoice in your new-found life.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen. 

Take time to read today’s Daily Texts. God speaks to us through the inspiration of scripture, so approach the opportunity to read the texts as a privilege, eagerly anticipating what might be spoken to you today. How might today’s Word make a part of your life new again? If you do not have a copy of the Daily Texts, you will find today’s texts posted in the margin on your page’s right side (at the bottom of the page if you are on a mobile phone). When you have finished praying, continue as follows.

As you taught your disciples to pray, so we pray together:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.

Almighty God, we are continually amazed at the way you turn the world upside down. For a Savior of the world, we would have chosen a powerful prince,
But you chose a carpenter’s son born under questionable circumstances.
For disciples to help Jesus through his ministry, we would have chosen well connected wealthy people of the upper class to bankroll the operation,
But you chose fishermen, a tax collector, and other such outcasts.
For a grand entrance into Jerusalem, we would have chosen a white Stallion,
But you chose a donkey.
When riding high in the polls on Palm Sunday, we would have chosen to stay there as long as we could,
But you chose to clear the temple.
For a place of coronation, we would have chosen a palace with a wonderfully decorated royal throne,
But you chose a cross.
For those who we would want to have included in the kingdom of God, we would have chosen those who look and sound like we do,
But you chose the world with all of its challenging diversity.
For people to show the world the love and grace extended to us in Jesus Christ, we would have chosen somebody else,
But you chose each of us.
May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Romans 15:13