An Easter Pastoral Prayer (1)

Heavenly father, through the shouts and the excitement, the Savior rides again into our hearts and into our Holy Cities.

He rides into the places that we have fortified often against even God’s truth and love. Remind us that our “holy cities”, our souls, need to welcome Jesus more fully.   We need to welcome him in true celebration and with renewed commitment.   Help us to experience those times when we replace palm waving with stone throwing. 

Help us to see all the emotions and all the promises of holy week.   Help us to embrace the harshness and the holiness of the events and stories we share this week.   Help us to find time to laugh, to weep, to scream, and to pray right alongside you this week.  Help us to see the cross, the torn veil, the cup, the bread, the betrayal of Peter and Judas, and all the other moments of this week not just as history but as examples of the many ways our own faith journeys take form.  Help us to grow into a new and more exciting faith, beyond anything we can imagine at the present.

Help us to see how we can so easily get caught up in the noise and forget our King and Savior.  May the joy at dreaming of the “what-ifs” built around your arrival, invade all aspects of our life and faith.  Help us to see to it that the welcome of Jesus we experience this day is reflected in our welcome of others who come into our midst. Free us from judgment and prejudice, that we may be open to hearing your word through the ministry of Jesus and the disciples.

As we have spoken the names of ones who are near and dear to us who need your healing love, help us also to remember that we need healing too.  We are just as broken.  We are as much in need of your healing as anyone else.  Let this Holy time be a time of reflection, renewal, hope and healing.  Let us take this time not to point fingers at others, but look inward and upward.  Fix us, O’ Lord.

In this and in all the times we pray for those that hurt, we ask that you allow each of us to overcome our challenges and rise above our battles; be they physical or spiritual.   Provide us with your love and compassion…At the same time, remind us that we also need a good measure of your grace and forgiveness.   Help us to humble ourselves at your feet.

Bring us through this parade into the comfort of your love. Let us experience both the wonder and beauty of your promise…    Let us never fail to recognize or fail to celebrate you as king, whether it be in the celebration of the hope and noise of the parade, the quiet awe of your last supper, the dark majesty of God’s Friday,  the darkness and alienation of Holy Saturday, or the joy found with an empty tomb.

We stand in your presence, often doubting but just as often joyous and hopeful.   Guide us.  Comfort us.  Lead us and change us.   Hosanna! Blessed is Jesus! Blessed is He who has come and who continues to come into our lives forever. AMEN


(Pic by A.Mitcotwal, 2001

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