A prayer for Palm Sunday

March 29th, 2008

Here’s a prayer for our congregational prayer on Palm Sunday (yes, out of step chronologically).

Lord Jesus, on this day we remember that you rode into Jerusalem as king, a kind of king the world had never seen, bearing not a sword, nor riding for war. Instead, you rode in bringing peace and reconciliation with God. You entered humbly, riding a donkey.

You were human, like us, fearing mockery, death and pain. And you loved God your Father with all your being. Yet, you entered Jerusalem willing to face your worst fears, worst of all to face God’s judgment and wrath, so that we might be spared God’s judgment and wrath. You were wholly innocent and yet willing to be the substitute for those who would soon mock you.

Your greatest desire was to do your Father’s will, to seek and save the lost, to renew all things, and so you steeled yourself and rode into Jerusalem knowing that you would soon face not praises, but betrayal, mockery, torture and death. And yet you rode in as the humble king.

Lord Jesus, on this day we remember that you came to Jerusalem knowing you would be the sacrificial lamb for our sins.

And so, for your sacrificial love, the greatest of all loves, a love willing to die for its enemies, the love you showed in riding in that day, for your worthiness to be our king, we proclaim, along with the crowds and the disciples:

Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

Lord, apart from the renewing work of the Holy Spirit whom you sent, who brings us rebels into reconciliation with God, who opens our eyes and softens our hearts to you, we are no different from the fickle crowd that day. In ourselves, we are often fickle in our allegiance to you as King. When following you is painful, we can be quick to weary. We keep your command imperfectly and love you imperfectly. We sin against you in thought, word, and deed. And so, we pause to confess together in silence these sins against your rightful rule.


Lord, because you cleanse us of our sins by your own shed blood, we are made fit for worshiping God. You purifying work opens our lips so that our mouths may declare God’s praise. And under your shepherding hand and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, we live under your kingly rule. We wait for your return as conquering king, riding a white horse in victory. So, as forgiven and redeemed sinners, we continue to proclaim:

Blessed are you, Jesus, who comes in the name of the Lord. You are Faithful and True. You are worthy to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing! Glory to you, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, reigning forever. In expectation of seeing your glory, we pray, come Lord Jesus.

It is in your, name Lord Jesus, we offer our intercessions.

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