Prayers to Pray Each Day of Holy Week - From Palm Sunday to Easter/Resurrection Sunday
Here are eight prayers to take you through Holy Week. There’s one for each day, beginning with Palm Sunday, and each of them is based on one of the traditional Scripture readings given on that day in church lectionaries.
Prayer 1: Palm Sunday Prayer
Scripture readings: Matthew 21:1-11; Psalm 118:1-2; Psalm 118:19-29
Lord God, I give You thanks, for You are good, and Your mercy is endless. Here I stand, at the start of this Holy Week, this week in which Your church remembers Jesus’ passion and death, and I am distracted by many things. Turn my eyes now to the One who comes in Your name, the One who opens the gates of righteousness, the One who answers when we call. I bless you, Lord, for shining Your light upon me, and for sending Your son to us, in human frailty, to walk the road we walk. Open my eyes that I may see him coming, and may praise Him with a pure heart. And may walk in the way of His suffering, and share also in His resurrection. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer 2: Holy Week Monday Prayer
Scripture readings: Matthew 21:10-17; John 12:1-8
Lord God, six days before His death, Your son sat with Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead, and ate dinner with His disciples. Once again, Your gospel tells us, Martha served, and Mary knelt at Jesus’ feet to anoint them with costly perfume. The disciple who was about to betray Him said that it was a waste. He didn’t care about the poor, really – he just wanted to fill his own pockets and make Mary feel ashamed. Lord God, often we cannot discern what is best: when to pour out costly perfume for your sake, even if the world thinks it a waste. When to be busy serving, or when to rest at Your Son’s feet and learn. Give us ears to hear You and eyes to see. For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayer 3: Holy Week Tuesday Prayer
Scripture readings: Matthew 26:36-46; Hebrews 5:7-9
Lord God, the message of the cross is difficult to take. How can death give way to life? How can weakness be strength? Yet Your word says that Jesus, being God, took on human flesh and suffered the worst kind of death. How can this be? This message is indeed difficult to take. But your foolishness is wiser than our wisdom. Your weakness is greater than our strength. Help us to know that none of us can boast before You. It is only in Christ Jesus that we can boast. In His name, we ask You to help our unbelief. That we may love you, and walk in the way Jesus taught us. In His name we pray, Amen.
Prayer 4: Holy Week Wednesday Prayer
Scripture readings: Matthew 26:27-56; 1 Corinthians 1:18
Lord God, we tremble to think that it was one of Jesus’ own disciples who betrayed Him. One who sat by Him, who broke bread with Him. Give us strength. We pray to walk faithfully with Jesus, even when the road we walk is rocky, even when the message of the cross seems like foolishness and even when we feel betrayed. You, Lord, are always faithful. We stumble, we become lost, but You are steady and sure. Give us the grace to endure our troubles, and reveal to us the glory of your kingdom, through Your son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Prayer 5: Holy Week Thursday (Maundy Thursday) Prayer
Scripture readings: John 13:1-17; John 13:34-35
Lord God, You sent Your son into the world, and before His hour had come, He washed His disciples’ feet. You had given all things into His hands. He had come from You, and was going to You, and what did He do? He knelt down on the floor, and washed His disciples’ feet. He was their teacher and their Lord, yet He washed their feet. Lord God, help us learn from His example; help us to do as He has done for us. The world will know we are His disciples if we love one another. Strengthen our hands and our wills for love and for service. Keep before our eyes the image of Your son, who, being God, became a Servant for our sake. All glory be to Him who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.
Prayer 6: Holy Week Friday (Good Friday) Prayer
Scripture readings: John 18:1-40, John 19:1-42; Isaiah 52:13-15; Isaiah 53:1-12; Hebrews 10:16-25; Psa 22
Lord God, Jesus cried out to You on the cross, “Why have you forsaken me?” You seemed so far from His cry and from His distress. Those who stood at the foot of the cross wondered where You were, as they saw Jesus mocked and shamed and killed. Where were You then? Lord God, we too, ask where You are, when there is trouble and suffering and death, and we cry out to You for help. Be near to us, and save us so that we may praise You for Your deliverance. Lord God, we wait, on Friday, for the resurrection of Sunday and sometimes our lives seem a succession of Fridays and we cannot see what is “Good”. Teach us to call Your name as Jesus did. Make us to trust in You like little children. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Prayer 7: Holy Week Saturday (Holy Saturday) Prayer
Scripture readings: Matthew 17:1-6; Lamentations 3:1-9, Lamentations 3:19-24
Lord God, on the Sabbath, Jesus rested. He was in the grave. He had finished His work. To most people’s eyes, it looked as if it were all over. He was dead and buried. But only as a seed dies when it is planted in the earth, not to decay, but to spring to new life. Teach us to take refuge in You when we are afraid. Teach us that death is not our end. Teach us to hope always in You and in the resurrection, the making of all things new. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, we pray. Amen.
Prayer 8: Holy Week Sunday Prayer (Easter/Resurrection Sunday)
Scripture readings: Matthew 28; Revelation 5:11-14; Psalm 118:1-2; Psalm 118:14-24
Lord God, You loved this world so much that You gave Your one and only Son that we might be called Your children too. Lord, help us to live in the gladness and grace of Easter Sunday, everyday. Let us have hearts of thankfulness for Your sacrifice. Let us have eyes that look upon Your grace and rejoice in our salvation. Help us to walk in that mighty grace and tell Your good news to the world. All for your glory do we pray, Lord, Amen.