Reminder: “Praying Through Holy Week” is our invitation to a lifestyle of prayer that prepares us for Easter.
During Holy Week Prayer Exercise 2, we follow Jesus in expressing love toward others through a humble life. On Good Friday, our loving Savior fulfills His calling to love by going to the cross alone.
Holy Week Prayer Exercise #3 – Jesus Alone
Good Friday commemorates Jesus’ prayer, arrest, trial, crucifixion and suffering, death, and burial.
Garden of Gethsemane: Jesus Prays (Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, Luke 22:39-46)
▪ Jesus returns to the place of prayer to prepare for the cross. His betrayer, Judas, will be there.
- Do you have a special place of prayer? Would you still go there if you knew you were going to be arrested?
- Jesus intimately calls God, “Abba Father.” (Mark 14:36) Are you intimate with the Father like this?
▪ Jesus agonizes with His Father before His suffering. Jesus pours out His soul to His Father 3 times in prayer, sharing every emotion – even to sweating drops like blood. He always submitted to the Father’s will.
- Do you share your emotions with your Heavenly Father? Do you submit your will to His will?
▪ Jesus invites the disciples to be with Him as He agonizes. Jesus invites three of the disciples, Peter, James, and John to watch and pray with Him. They fall asleep from weariness and sorrow.
- Are you close enough to Jesus that He would invite you to agonize with Him? Can Jesus depend on you to watch/pray about what is on His heart? Does weariness/sorrow keep you from being spiritually alert?
Read Isaiah 52:13 – Isaiah 53 Reflect on the Suffering Servant
Crucifixion and Suffering: (Matthew 27:33-66, Mark 15:22-47, Luke 23:33-56, John 19: 16-42)
▪ Jesus is crucified between 2 thieves who deserve to die. One mocked Him, One asked to be remembered in Jesus’ kingdom. Most have deserted him, except His mother, aunt, Mary and John.
- Which person best represents you at the cross? Will you, mock or desert Him or love and worship Him?
▪ Jesus says, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) The payment for sin is complete. Reflect on what the Jesus has saved you from. Remember and give thanks.
▪ As Jesus dies, there was major earth shift. (Darkness, earthquake, veil of the temple torn, graves opened etc.) A watching centurion said, “Surely, He was the Son of God” Say or pen a prayer about how Jesus’ death on the cross has made an impact on you and those around you.
▪ Include a Hymnal in your Good Friday worship. Read or sing songs as prayers to the Lord.
Example: The Old Rugged Cross, Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone, Wounded for Me, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (See song lyrics below)
Review your answers. Praise God where you are doing well. Confess/ask forgiveness where you fall short. Ask God’s help where you need to grow.
After prayer, reflect:
• How is God leading me to respond to what he revealed to me during prayer?
May Jesus’s love and sacrifice remind us of the tremendous cost of sin – and overwhelm us with the vast extent of His love!
Click on this link to register to receive Holy Week Prayer Exercise #4. http://eepurl.com/goj9xn
Wounded For Me by William G. Ovens
Wounded for me, wounded for me, There on the cross He was wounded for me; Gone my transgressions, and now I am free, All because Jesus was wounded for me.
Dying for me, dying for me, There on the cross He was dying for me; Now in His death my redemption I see, All because Jesus was dying for me.
Risen for me, risen for me, Up from the grave He has risen for me; Now evermore from death’s sting I am free, All because Jesus has risen for me.