Lord Jesus, thou who was “born that we no more may die,” as we stand on the brink of the week of your passion scripture makes it clear that your love comes at terrible price and that your grace is not some divine whim. When you raised your friend Lazarus from his grave:
– You knew you were signing your own death warrant.
– You knew that those who trusted in human power could never let such a
gracious gift stand without losing the control they had over people.
– You knew that they must kill you.
– You saw clearly you must die that other might live, that to bring Lazarus out of
his tomb you must enter into your own tomb.
We praise you for the courage it took for you to reveal God’s glory in a world that seeks its own glory. We thank you for enduring both the spiritual and physical pain you knew that we might experience resurrection and life. During this week, teach us anew:
– that there can never be an Easter without a Good Friday,
– that we can never find resurrection without a willingness to let go of this life,
– that God’s glory will never be seen in us as long as we trust only in ourselves.
grant the gift of faith that God’s light may shine thru our lives.
Because of your faithfulness to God’s will, God has given you the authority to forgive sins and the power to bring about life in places where there was no life. And so we ask for your help:
– We pray for those who are imprisoned by their own need to control and who
trust in their own feeble efforts to find life. Call them out of the “tomb of ego”
saying “unbind them and let them go” that they be free.
– We pray for those who find it impossible to believe that you could really love
them. May the vision of the cross you bore this week penetrate any self hate
that they may know you understand their hurt and still love them.
– We pray for those who are sick and cannot find hope in their illness. May they
know the good news that you are their hope, you who they called the “great
– And finally we pray for all of those who will go through this week oblivious
to what has happened and to the powerful love that surrounds them. May your
cross cause us to count our richest gain but loss and bring us to pour contempt
on any pride within that our tongues may confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Because of this week your Father in heaven has given you the name that is above every name, so that at your name every knee should bow in heaven and on earth, and under the earth. It is in that name that we pray…