A chicken standing on a wooden hutch

Holy Week marks Jesus’ journey from entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, to his arrest, death and resurrection which we celebrate on Easter Sunday. This week changed the world, and it has life-changing consequences for every one of us, even today.

Let us journey through the events of this week together, stopping to reflect and pray as we go.

Prayer for Palm Sunday

They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!”, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”, “Blessed is the king of Israel!”.

John 12:13

When people saw Jesus entering Jerusalem, they were so excited. They were expecting Jesus to come and save them: a mighty king; a warrior. Imagine if they knew then what would happen over the next week. How much more would they have celebrated?

Dear God, as we begin our journey through Holy Week, we begin with praise. We thank you and worship you for all that you have done for us. Since the first days of creation, to the events of Holy Week, and all the way to our present day. You are a good God, and we praise you for all that you have created. For all that you have done. For all that you have promised to us. And for all the ways that you have changed our lives. Amen.

Prayer for Maundy Thursday – The Last Supper

“After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

John 13:5 & 14-15

In the evening of Maundy Thursday, Jesus shared supper with his disciples. And during this supper he washed his disciples feet, an act of great humility and servitude. This is the example that he sets to us, and commands us to replicate.

Lord, the Servant King. We ask you to show us how we can serve the people around us, just as Jesus served his disciples at the Last Supper. Give me a heart of humility, and a desire to serve. Help me to follow the example that Jesus has set for me, always seeking to serve rather than to be served. Amen.

Prayer for Maundy Thursday – Garden of Gethsemane

“He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

Matthew 26:42

Even knowing what was ahead of him, Jesus’ prayer to the father was this: may your will be done. When we face difficult situations, it can be so easy to think that we know best. To ask for our will to be done. But instead, let us hand these situations over to God.

Loving God. We know that your will is good, that it is right and fair and just. We know that you work for our good, and that you know what is best for us. May your will be done in our lives today. Help us to trust you, even when life is hard. Even when we face great hardships in this life, may it be your will that we seek after. Amen.

Prayer for Good Friday – The Crucifixion

“From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).”

Matthew 27:45-46

When Jesus died, he took on all of our sins, and was separated from the Father. He felt that God has forsaken him, leaving him alone in the darkness. Yet Jesus had done nothing wrong, he himself had never sinned.

Forgiving God, on Good Friday when Jesus was hung on the cross, it was our sins which held him there. We bring before you now, all the things that we have done wrong. We are sorry, and repent. Remove these sins from me, as I turn away from these past actions and choices. Please grant me your forgiveness and wash me clean. Thank you that Jesus has already paid the price for our sins, so that we do not stay separated from you. We thank you that we are never forsaken. Thank you that when we repent, you forgive us, and reunite us with yourself. Amen.

Prayer for Holy Saturday

“But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.”

Micah 7:7

On Holy Saturday, everything stopped. It was the Sabbath day; Jesus’ body lay in the tomb. The disciples scattered and hid. The world held its breath.

God of all things, we know that around the world there are so many people waiting. Waiting for you. Waiting for a light in the darkness. Whether they are waiting for an answer to prayer, for healing, for new opportunities, or for something else completely. We pray for all of these people, and all the situations they are facing. Be with all those who are waiting today, and bring them answers to their prayers as soon as it is your will to do so. Give them strength, patience and comfort as they endure this time of waiting. Help us also, to support those who are waiting. Give us the words to say, and the patience to wait alongside them. May we fully trust in God’s timing and the hope that he has promised to us. Amen.

Prayer for Easter Sunday – The Resurrection

“He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’”

Luke 24:6-7

Can you imagine the joy, the celebrations that would have happened when the news really sunk in – He is not here; he has risen! This day changed everything, for the disciples and for the whole world, both then and now.

Dear God, we began our prayers with praise and we also end our prayers with praise. The resurrection of Jesus gives us great joy, and hope for a future spent with you. Because of Easter Sunday, sin has been defeated. Because of this day, death has been defeated. And because of this day, God is victorious. This Easter, we rejoice. We thank you for the victory that we have in you, and all that this means for us, even today so many years later. Help us to share this good news with those who have not heard it. So that they too can rejoice at all that Easter means. Amen.

We hope that this collection of prayers for Holy Week encourages you to pray through this season and helps you to focus on God as we celebrate. You can find lots more reflective prayer videos on our YouTube channel here.

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