5 Prayers to Prepare Your Heart on Easter-Eve
5 Prayers to Prepare Your Heart on Easter-Eve
Shakia Clark iBelieve Contributing Writer
As we approach this Easter weekend, here are five prayers to help prepare our hearts on Easter-Eve:
Easter is quickly approaching, but as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, let us never forget the days leading up to this holiday. As believers, we acknowledge Good Friday as the day Jesus died for our sins and was buried. We celebrate Easter for His resurrection because we know that on the third day He rose from the dead. His resurrection on Sunday is what makes Good Friday good because we know His life didn’t end in death. We celebrate our Savior for conquering death and the grave but in the middle of this celebration, we often miss the importance and significance of the day before on the Eve of Easter.
When Jesus died on the cross, it was the day of Passover where they would have to prepare ahead of the Sabbath because no work was to be done and they were required to rest.
We read about what happened immediately after Jesus’ death in Matthew 27:51-55, where it states,
“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’ Many women were there, watching from a distance.”
According to the Word, before the Sabbath began, a rich man named Joseph requested to take Jesus’ body to His tomb while Mary and Mary Magdalene watched. On the Sabbath, it states that the Pharisees and leading priests remembered how Jesus had talked about rising on the third day therefore they requested to have His tomb sealed (See Matthew 27:62-66). The fact that they went to great lengths to seal the tomb makes me wonder if there were some underlying fear that Jesus could really be resurrected.
I am thankful that a seal couldn’t stop the resurrection from taking place.
I think Scripture is purposeful to remind us of how nothing can stop God’s desired plans for our lives and for His people. God is in control over it all and He can make a bad situation good if we would keep Him in the driver’s seat of our lives.
As I reflected on Easter Eve, I couldn’t help but wonder about those who witnessed the tragic event on Good Friday and what it must have felt like on the day before His resurrection. There was nothing about it that looked good; there was no indication of a resurrection besides the truth of what Jesus had spoken to them beforehand.
Can you imagine seeing Jesus suffer a gruesome death and there’s nothing you can do? The law would require you to rest, which meant that after experiencing this moment you’d have to spend the next day sitting in the truth of what you’ve witnessed. I imagine there was a mixture of emotions: some in awe, some in fear while others’ hearts were too hardened to acknowledge it all.
As we approach this Easter weekend, here are five ways to pray to help prepare our hearts on Easter-Eve:
Photo Credit: © Unsplash/ Beth Jnr
1. Pray to Never Forget
Let us never forget the price Jesus paid for our sins. We don’t want to get too comfortable in our daily living that we only acknowledge His sacrifice during Easter weekend, but instead, let us make it a habit to remember that it should have been us on the cross. He willingly carried our sins and nailed them to cross so that we do not have to live a life of bondage because of our sinful nature but we can live in the freedom He gave us. Therefore we can’t get so comfortable that we forget the magnitude of what He did for you and me. He paid it all for us so that we can live the life we live today. Let us never forget that this life is not our own.
2. Pray to Be Still and Know
What a difference our lives would make if we intentionally took a Sabbath every week. As busy as life can be, I believe we should ensure we take time this week to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). He is God over your life and whatever situations you face today. Sometimes it is nice to take a walk or enjoy the outdoors for a moment to simply take in all the beauty of what He created for us.
Take time this week to intentionally be still and remember that your Father is in control and nothing can stop His good plans for your life. It is easy to get back into the busyness of life, but sometimes when you pause, you can sense His presence and hand at work in your life. Don’t dismiss this season because you are hurried in life but be committed to stilling yourself long enough for Him to speak His truths over you. Remember nothing can stop God’s plans. If the sealing of a tomb can’t stop Jesus from resurrecting, then how can we think anything in this world can box God in? He is the creator of it all and will shift things to accomplish His divine plans for this world.
3. Pray to Repent
In celebrating all that He has done for us, I believe we should pray a prayer of repentance, asking God to search our hearts and cleanse us of the things that do not align with His Word.
Psalm 139:23-24 says “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” We will never be perfect while here on earth but we can be intentional to repent of our wrongdoings whether in attitude or actions – let’s ask God to help us to look more and more like Jesus as we grow deeper in His Word.
4. Pray to Give Thanks
This week let us cultivate a heart of thankfulness. If you have found yourself in prayer, only asking God for what you need, maybe take a day to focus your prayer simply on thanking Him for what He has already done and what He will do in the future. Thank Him for the cross, thank Him for sending Jesus to die for your sins, thank Him for another day.
Regardless of what you may face, I believe there is something we can all thank Him for. There is no better week to begin cultivating a thankful prayer life with Him than this week. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “in all things give thanks.” This Easter weekend teaches us how we can give thanks even when things look like it is bad, we can give thanks because the God we serve can work it all out for our good (Romans 8:28).
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/dndavis
5. Pray to Remember That He Is Enough
I am so thankful for Jesus and the sacrifice He made for us. He doesn’t have to do anything else, because He has already done enough in giving us new life with Him. I am thankful that He is still in the blessing business but the truth is, He is enough. Sometimes we can get so caught up in what we think we need but ultimately what we need is Jesus.
This weekend is a beautiful time to remember that it is all about Jesus. We can rejoice this Easter weekend because we know our Savior and the sacrifice He paid for our sins. As we remember His sacrifice on Good Friday and celebrate His resurrection on Easter Sunday, let us not dismiss the importance of the day in between, Easter-Eve. Let us pause long enough to remember how they must have felt on this day and be intentional to stay in His presence. Maybe you find yourself in a season where it feels like you are in the middle – you’re not where you used to be but you’re not where God has shown you. I pray you find comfort in the middle knowing that God can turn it all around just as He promised. He is a man of His Word.
Ask the Lord to prepare your heart this weekend to experience Him in a fresh new way. We need more of Him and less of us. Stay encouraged and remain in a place of expectancy for whatever His Spirit desires to do.
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/didoi
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