Palm Sunday – Summary and Prayers 2021
Look, your King is coming to you!
He comes triumphant and victorious,
but humble and riding on a donkey –
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Our strong, loving, rescuing God
We thank you that in Jesus you have come to us with the promise of a peaceful kingdom.
As the humble, oppressed people of Jerusalem sang ‘Hosanna – ‘Save us now!’
So we still cry out for this sad and troubled world
As they spread their palm branches in the road before him
So we lay before you our prayers and our lives for the sake of that kingdom.
At our Zoom Service we looked at Exodus 40: 16-38 and discussed the questions below.
We were asked to list all the Bible references to ‘temple’ and share them in our groups, before looking at these questions:
- What do you think God’s glory is, and when have you seen it?
- The sacred Tent (later the Temple) was meant as a place worthy for God to make his dwelling among the people. In the light of the New Testament message, what are our best ways of making a place for God to dwell in the world?
The idea of a dwelling place for God is a rich theme running through the Bible. In the Exodus story, Sinai is the ‘mountain of God’ that Moses climbed to meet with God. Then God told Moses to furnish a special tent (or ‘tabernacle’) where he would dwell among them. When the people had come into the Promised Land and Jerusalem was their capital, the tent was replaced with a temple. But there was always doubt as to whether God could dwell in any man-made building. Solomon expressed that doubt even as he was dedicating the temple (see 1 Kings 8:27).
In the New Testament we find that God dwells not in a building but in a Person: ‘the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us’. The word translated ‘dwelt’ could mean ‘pitched his tent’. But then the New Testament goes on to say that Jesus dwells in us, so we ourselves are temples. It is now in us that God lives and shows his glory in this world. What a challenge!
Prayers for others
Thank you, God for your triumphal entry into our world, each and every day.
We praise and thank You, for the beauty of buds and blossom on trees, and the singing of birds that heralds the end of Winter, and the coming of Spring.
We rejoice once again in the thrill of Palm Sunday, yet this year, once again things are different. There is no joyful hymn singing and waving of palm branches. Instead, we see You weeping over Jerusalem, and over our troubled world.
We thank You for sending Jesus, who showed us Your love for creation, and Your love for us all. Forgive us for the times when we have gone about our own business, and closed our eyes to the needs around us, oblivious to the call of Your love in our hearts.
We pray today for those in war torn places, where children are killed, bombs dropped and people starve because of men’s wickedness.
We especially think of Yemen, Ethiopia and other places where people suffer because of the greed for power and control. Yet we know that your presence is there, amongst the suffering. Help us to play our part, to lobby politicians, to protest against the selling of arms and to give whatever we are able to help those in need.
We think also today of those who have suffered because of Coronavirus, both directly and indirectly – those who have been bereaved and those who are suffering long term effects from this terrible disease. We thank You for the love and dedication of those who have cared for them, and for the skill of the scientists who have dedicated their lives to the eradication of this and other diseases.
We pray for those whose lives and work have been devastated by loss of income and jobs, and we pray that soon, things will begin to improve, and peoples’ lives and livelihoods will be restored, but we realise that for many, things will never be the same again.
So, help us to be open to the needs of those in our society who will need our help in the coming days.
We pray for wisdom for politicians and leaders, not only of our own country, but throughout the world, that they will seek justice and peace for all, so that all are treated with equity and equality.
Give us a vision of Your entry into this world as the Prince of Peace, changing hearts, one by one, creating an army of peacemakers, who say no to violence and greed.
God of peace, open our hearts to be Your hearts,
Our hands to be Your hands, and
Our arms to be Your loving arms
For all who need Your presence.
You know the people in our own congregation, and those known to us, with pressing needs – those with difficult diagnoses, those undergoing or waiting for tests, and those coping with chronic pain.
We grieve with those here who are grieving, and we ask You for Your comfort and healing.
And now, in a short time of silence, we bring before You those who are on our hearts and minds today.
And now, as we go forward into this Holy Week, we pray that You will walk with us, knowing that You have walked this way before us.
In Jesus’ name and for His sake, we pray the prayer that He taught His disciples, saying, in whatever language we choose
Ride on, ride on in majesty