6 Ways to Pray during Holy WeekTandia Hughes - 14 Mar 2016
We’ve almost journeyed through Lent and now Holy Week is nearly here - the seven days before Easter Sunday.
It’s a significant week - a journey. We’re walking through the last days of Jesus’ life; a period thought to be the end, but was actually only just the beginning….
Here are 6 prayer ideas for your Holy Week Journey:
1. The Triumphant Entry
“Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
The entry of Jesus, riding into town on a donkey with palm leaves and cheering, marks the beginning of Holy Week. I imagine it to be a beautiful; the sun shining as Jesus sits on the donkey’s back - a triumphant, glorious time of praise.
Focus on Praise
Draw some palm leaves onto pieces of card and leave a few pairs of scissors nearby. Think about what you’re thankful for or what you’d like to praise God for, before writing praise prayers on the leaves. Lay the palm prayers on the path towards the next activity.
2. The Last Supper
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body. Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,”
- Mark 14:22-24
Sometimes intimate times with Jesus are the most memorable. The last supper was a deeply personal feast where Jesus sat with his closest friends. Today, we’re invited to do the same to remember Jesus.
Focus on bread & wine
Have a simple table with bread and wine to take communion as an individual; to break the bread and drink wine with Jesus in your prayer room.
3. The Betrayal
“Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: 'The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.'”
Jesus was betrayed by one of his friends, and yet loved him. We can feel hurt through betrayal, and so many people struggle with it.
Focus on hurt
Create a life-sized cut out person. Using plasters, write the names of your friends, and pray for their hurt to be healed. Stick the plasters on the cut out. Perhaps you feel hurt – ask God to help you to forgive those who have hurt you.
Another way to approach this theme is by thinking of the refugee crisis. So many people are struggling because their country is at war. They’re hurting, and feeling betrayed by their governments. You might like to use this activity from the Prayer Spaces in Schools website.
4. The Denial
“You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said. But Peter denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about…”
Peter felt ashamed that he knew Jesus; and for us, it’s equally tempting to deny Jesus when our faith is challenged or when people ask difficult questions.
Focus on boldness
Peter denied Jesus 3 times; so take a post-it note and write down 3 places where talking about your faith is hard. Put this post-it notes somewhere where you can see it, and regularly pray that God will help you to be bold in these situations; to stand up for your faith in Jesus.
5. The Crucifixion
“And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.”
The most important part of Christianity: the moment Jesus took away all our sin! This is a hugely personal experience as we think about the massive sacrifice Jesus made for us.
Focus on Forgiveness
Get some bright red wool and some white wool; place pieces of white wool on a cross (if you have one for your prayer room) or other object, and place the pieces of red wool in a bowl. Take a piece of red wool - which represents something you want forgiveness for- and place it on the cross. Jesus takes all of our hurt and shame. Take a piece of white wool from the cross (or other object) and tie it around your wrist as a reminder that because of Jesus you are forgiven!
6. The Resurrection
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him”
The resurrection! The day Jesus rose again; a time of celebration, joy and hope! Because of this miracle, we can focus on the future; on building God’s kingdom in relationship with Him.
Focus on God’s kingdom
Think about what you want to harvest within God’s kingdom. Take a large seed tray with soil, and plant a seed for friends or family who do not know God. Next to the seed place a stick with their name on. Continue to pray for them daily, and as the week goes on the seed will begin to grow.
You can also use this activity to pray for your hopes and dreams; that God will use you in His kingdom.
As you journey towards Easter, reflect and dwell on God’s presence and the reality of what Jesus has done for us.
Are you running a Holy Week prayer room? Fancy even more inspiration?
Head to our Prayer section to register your prayer room and receive even more tips: 24-7prayer.com/prayerrooms