8 Prayers to Pray throughout Holy Week

8 Prayers to Pray throughout Holy Week

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but this year I’ve been thinking of Holy Week less in terms of the passion of Jesus Christ and more in terms of “spring break.”

It’s not that I’ve got any spectacular vacation plans. It’s just that my children and I will be off from school (I’m a teacher), the days will grow longer and warmer, and the bulbs I planted in the garden last year will poke their green leaves out of the earth and blossom to the sun.

So I’m approaching Holy Week feeling unprepared, and not just because I have no idea what I’m going to make for Easter dinner. I’ve spent more Sundays in Lent at home sick – or home with sick children – than I’ve been in church. I’m soul-weary after months of winter and darkness and stress.

But perhaps this isn’t such a bad way to enter Holy Week – tired and unprepared, hungry for a new beginning, eager for the light to shine in the darkness. Even if, like me, you feel you haven’t quite lived into the penitential season of Lent, it’s not too late to begin walking toward resurrection morning.

Here are eight prayers to take you – and me – through Holy Week. There’s one for each day, beginning with Palm Sunday, and each of them is based on one of traditional Scripture readings given to that day in church lectionaries.

1. Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday Prayer

Matthew 21:1-11; Psa 118:1-2; Psa 118:19-29

Lord God,
I give you thanks, for you are good, and your mercy is endless.
Here I stand, at the start of this holy week,
This week in which your church remembers Jesus’ passion and death,
And I am distracted by many things.
Turn my eyes now to the One who comes in your name
The one who opens the gates of righteousness
The one who answers when we call.
I bless you, Lord, for shining your light upon me,
And for sending your son to us, in human frailty.
To walk the road we walk.
Open my eyes that I may see him coming,
And may praise him with a pure heart.
And may walk in the way of his suffering,
And share also in his resurrection.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.
Amen.