Holy Week is traditionally a solemn time (until Easter, that is!) when Christians around the world meditate on the betrayal, death, and burial of our Lord Jesus.
This Holy Week, we'll take a look at some of the actions of Jesus. They might be a little more unexpected than the actions you typically think of during this time, but we invite you to spend some dedicated time in prayer meditating on these words.
Prayers for Maundy Thursday
On Maundy Thursday, we remember the day that Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples, but we also remember that He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was betrayed, and He was tortured for our sins. Let these prayers guide your thoughts on this day.
Lord Jesus, You gathered with Your disciples in the Upper Room with bread and wine to celebrate the Passover. In this intimate community setting, You revealed that one of Your friends—one of those in Your circle—would betray You, even as You broke bread together. As I take communion this evening, Lord, forgive me for the times when I have betrayed You. Help me to fully recognize the significance of this meal, which You instituted on this night nearly two thousand years ago. Amen.
Jesus, the Son of God, even You prayed to Your Father in Heaven. You, who are one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever, still cried out in sorrow to the One who hears my prayers today. Let me not forget the great honor it is to approach God in prayer, and that I can only achieve that through Your mediation. In all my supplications, let me seek to be like You and pray that God's will be done in my life. Amen.
Jesus was beaten
Savior of the world, Your body was broken. You were tortured. You were whipped, beaten, and bruised. But, as the prophet Isaiah says, "with [Your] wounds we are healed" (53:5). Do not let me shy away or minimize the suffering You endured, but let me be humbled and convicted by the brutal price You had to pay for my salvation. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
Prayers for Good Friday
Many question why we call this Friday "good" when so many seemingly bad things happened—Jesus was nailed to a cross, died, and was buried. All hope seemed lost. His disciples, His mother, and His enemies all thought He was dead for good. Death seemed to have won. Even though we have the promise of the Resurrection to hold on to, take today as an opportunity to dwell on your sins, which drove Jesus to the cross.
My precious Redeemer, on Good Friday many years ago, You bled. Your human body with blood coursing through your veins was hung on a tree. True God yet true man, your humanity was fully revealed in your blood spilled on Golgotha. Lord, never let me forget that Your blood was shed for me, because of my sins, because of my rebellion. Send Your Holy Spirit to work in me, that I may one day be united with You in paradise. Amen.
Ruler of the world, You were present at the creation of the world, and You hold it all together today. But on the first Good Friday, You died. You took a final breath. Your body went limp—held up no longer by Your own effort, but only by the nails in Your hands and feet. A spear was driven through Your side, ensuring your body's physical death. I thank You that, while I mourn the consequences of my sin that You took for me, I can rejoice in the knowledge that death did not defeat You. Amen.
Jesus was buried
Eternal God, who has existed from the beginning of time, Your body was placed in a tomb. Heartbroken and scared, Your disciples laid Your lifeless corpse down in a stranger's tomb, convinced You would stay there forever. Hopelessness washed over Your loved ones as the stone was rolled in front of the tomb. Today, I remember the hopelessness I would have if You had not died and been buried. Remind me that my sin caused Your death. Amen.
Prayers for Holy Saturday
Holy Saturday is sometimes an ignored day in Holy Week. You might go to an Easter Vigil service, but often it's just the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. On this day, take some time to intentionally meditate on Jesus' day of rest in death in the tomb, especially considering how hopeless His disciples must have felt knowing He was gone (temporarily, thankfully).
Jesus descended into hell
As we state in the Apostles' Creed, Jesus, You descended into hell after You died. I rejoice in the victory over sin, death and the Devil and all His evil foes that Christ's descent into Hell means for me. Thank you for the glorious victory that you won for us, dear Jesus.
Jesus lay in the tomb
Lord of all the living, the day after Your crucifixion, You were laid in a tomb, and Your body stayed there until the morning of the third day. Your body—scarred and wounded, but without a single broken bone—lay on a cold slab in a dark tomb, sealed by a large stone. Undisturbed, Your body lay inside while guards watched the entrance. But no earthly force could keep You contained! Praise to You, O Christ! Amen.
Just as God rested on the seventh day, so You, Lord Jesus, rested in the tomb before You rose victorious, defeating death, Satan, and sin forever. I look forward to the final day when I will achieve the final rest with You in Heaven, praising You forever and ever. Amen.
Prayers for Easter Sunday
He is risen! He is risen indeed! On this joyous day, praise your Savior for defeating death, Satan, and your own sin. As you sing "alleluia" once again, bask in the glow of your risen Savior.
Righteous Redeemer, You rose from the dead—but not just metaphorically. Your physical body became alive again. Your heart began beating, and Your limbs began moving. Remind me that, while I long for the day I will be with You in heaven, You care about my physical body here on earth. Motivate me to honor the temple that You have given me. Amen.
Jesus defeated death
Lord of heaven and earth, death could not hold You. When You rose victorious on that first Easter Sunday, death was defeated forever. Your life brings life to me today. Thank You for defeating death so I can live. Amen.
Jesus assured our salvation
Jesus Christ, Your death paid the price for my sin, but Your resurrection assured my salvation. In rising from the dead, You have ensured that I will be with You in heaven, along with all other believers. Thank you for saving me. Amen.
As you pray this Holy Week, meditate on these Lenten images and read the accompanying devotional thoughts.