Prayer Booklet 50

Dear Readers,

The Prayer Booklets (50 and 51) will return to the same format which I used for the two weeks around Christmas time.  I will encourage you to reflect and pray by reading through (or singing to yourself) some well known Easter Hymns.  They do illustrate beautifully the great truths that we hold dear, and help us focus on the events of Holy Week.  However, to begin with I’d like to share this lovely reflection and prayer written by Rev. Jonathan Fleming for Sanctuary First (with his permission):

John 11: 32-37

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 ‘Where have you laid him?’ he asked.

‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’

37 But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’

Reflection: The shortest … verse in Scripture:  ‘Jesus wept.’
The Saviour of the World burst into tears in front of the people around him.  Why?
Was it the pain of knowing that his friend was lying dead in a tomb and that he stood between death and life?
Was it the pain of everyone around him?
Was it the pain of knowing what was now imminent for Jesus himself?
Was it all getting too much in that moment?
I like to think that if Jesus can cry in an overwhelming moment, we can feel able to do likewise…

Jesus knew that all would be well, but he never said that it would be easy. And in those difficult times, tears can sometimes be well and truly in order.
Jesus wept. And so can we.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable in the sight of others.
Thank you for showing that weeping can be a holy act.
Thank you for assuring us that resurrection follows the tears we shed. We pray for all who weep day and night.
Help us to feel able to let out our feelings when we are struggling.

We pray for all who weep privately through choice or because of the isolation many experience at this time across our world.

Hold them and comfort them. Dry their eyes and warm their hearts.

We pray for all who weep as they mourn the loss of loved ones.
May you be with all who are unable to be with others
for the funeral at a family member or friend at this time.
Hold them and assure them that you are with them. So be it.  Amen.

Sunday, 28th March, 2021

Call to Prayer: Sunday 28th March 2021 Prayer @ 7pm As we stand at the threshold of the final journey of Jesus into Jerusalem and on towards the Cross, we find ourselves in the company of those who have gone before us on that journey. The ‘great crowd’ who enter into Jerusalem are those who gather for the annual marking of the Feast of the Passover. They come to remember and to give thanks for the enduring love of God. One of the Psalms used in the Feast opens with the call: ‘O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!’ In turn, the Psalmist cries: ‘Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.’ (Psalm 118: 1, 19) In the Gospel of John, we see Jesus entering Jerusalem and welcomed, as one ‘who comes in the name of the Lord!’, with shouts of ‘Hosanna!’ and ‘palm branches’. (John 12: 12-16) The cry ‘Hosanna!’ shall soon be replaced by ‘Crucify!’ and the ‘palm branches’ by a Cross, but in faith we believe that ‘the enduring love of God’ shall remain unvanquished. On this Palm Sunday, we stand on the threshold of a time of renewal within our community and in the life of the Church and we join the company of all God’s people to give thanks for the love that endures and conquers even death.

We pray:

God whose love endures,
Hear us as we welcome the One who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hear us, as we remember All that you have done in times past
And give thanks that your enduring love has embraced even us.
Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures,
Hear us as we welcome the One who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hear us, as we gather in the company of your people,
Or in company alone with you,
And lift up our voices to cry: Hosanna!
Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures,
Hear us as we welcome the One who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hear us, as we journey Through the week that is to come.
May we journey in the presence of the One who goes before us, even to the Cross.
Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures,
Hear us as we welcome the One who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hear us, as we listen to the voices Who now cry: Crucify!
And may we know it was for us he hung and suffered there.
Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures,
Hear us as we welcome the One who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hear us, as we wait For the dawn to break
And for your enduring love to vanquish the darkness.
Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


Now, let us thank God for hymn writers and musicians – and if you don’t know some of the hymns, you will find them on You Tube if you are able to look them up.  Most of the ones I have chosen are well known. You can sing as you reflect and pray…

Monday, 29th March, 2021

Remember: Pray before reflecting, and pray after…

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Philippians 2:5-11

356 (CH4)

Meekness and Majesty, manhood and deity,
in perfect harmony – the man who is God:
Lord of eternity’ dwells in humanity,
kneels in humility and washes our feet.

O what a mystery – meekness and majesty:
bow down and worship, for this is your God,
this is your God.

Father’s pure radiance, perfect in innocence,
yet learns obedience to death on a cross:
suffering to give us life, conquering through sacrifice –
and, as they crucify, prays: ‘Father forgive.’

Wisdom unsearchable, God the invisible,
love indestructible in frailty appears:
Lord of infinity, stooping so tenderly,
lifts our humanity to the heights of his throne.

Graham Kendrick (b1950)

Tuesday, 30th March, 2021

Remember: Pray before reflecting, and pray after…This may be an old hymn, but it turns our attention to the awesome majesty and awesome humility of Jesus, our Lord – for us!

365 (CH4)

Ride on!  ride on in majesty!
Hark!  all the tribes ‘Hosanna!’ cry;
O Saviour meek, pursue Thy road
with palms and scattered garments strowed.

Ride on!  ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die;
O Christ, Thy triumphs now begin
o’er captive death and conquered sin.

Ride on!  ride on in majesty!
The wingèd squadrons of the sky
look down with sad and wondering eyes
to see the approaching sacrifice.

Ride on!  ride on in majesty!
Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh;
the Father on His sapphire throne
awaits His own anointed Son.

Ride on!  ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die;
bow Thy meek head to mortal pain,
then take, O God, Thy power, and reign.

H.H. Milman (1791-1868)

Wednesday, 31st March, 2021

Remember: Pray before reflecting, and pray after…

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

399 (CH4) Verses 1-3 only…

My song is love unknown,
My Saviour’s love to me,
Love to the loveless shown,
that they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take frail flesh and die?

He came from His blest throne,
Salvation to bestow;
But people scorned, and none
the longed-for Christ would know.
But O my Friend, my Friend indeed,
Who at my need His life did spend.

Sometimes they strew His way,
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
‘Hosannas’ to their King.
Then ‘Crucify!’ is all their breath,
And for His death they thirst and cry.

Samuel Crossman (1624-1683)

Thursday 1st April, 2021

Remember: Pray before reflecting, and pray after…

“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own, yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.” Isaiah 53:6

All in the April evening
April airs are abroad
The sheep with their little lambs
Passed me by on the road
The sheep with their little lambs
Passed me by on the road
All in the April evening
I thought on the Lamb of God

The lambs were weary and crying
With a weak human cry
I thought on the Lamb of God
Going meekly to die
Up in the blue blue mountains
Dewy pastures are sweet
Rest for the little bodies
Rest for the little feet

But for the Lamb, the Lamb of God
Up on the hilltop green
Only a cross, a cross of shame
Two stark crosses between

All in the April evening
April airs were abroad
I saw the sheep with the lambs
And thought on the Lamb of God

Hugh S Roberton (1874 – 1952) and Katharine Tynan

Friday, 2nd April, 2021 (Good Friday)

Remember: Pray before reflecting, and pray after…

“The soldiers twisted a crown and thorns and placed it upon his head.  They clothed him in a purple robe…They shouted ‘Crucify! Crucify!” John 19:2, 5

CMP 85

Come and see, come and see,
come and see the King of love;
see the purple robe  and crown of thorns He wears.
Soldiers mock, rulers sneer as He lifts the cruel cross;
lone and friendless now,  He climbs towards the hill.

We worship at Your feet, where wrath and mercy meet,
and a guilty world is washed  by love’s pure stream.
For us He was made sin – oh, help me take it in.
Deep wounds of love cry out,  ‘Father, forgive.’
I worship, I worship  the Lamb who was slain.

Come and weep, come and mourn
for your sin that pierced Him there;
so much deeper than the wounds of thorn and nail.
All our pride, all our greed, all our fallenness and shame;
and the Lord has laid the punishment on Him.

Man of heaven, born to earth
to restore us to Your heaven.
Here we bow in awe beneath Your searching eyes.
From Your tears comes our joy; from Your death our life shall spring;
by Your resurrection power we shall rise.

Graham Kendrick (b1950)

Saturday, 3rd April, 2021 (Easter Saturday)

Remember: Pray before reflecting, and pray after…

‘Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.’ Luke 23: 34 and 44-46

392 (CH4)

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ, my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See! from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all!

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)