Praying In Holy Week

Palm Sunday
Dear God, I am not sure which parade I would have been in marching into Jerusalem – the Roman one with military and officials or the Jesus one with disciples and loud Hosannas. Would I have realized that Jesus’ way of ruling was through love, mercy and justice? Even today it is sometimes hard to live as a follower of Jesus. May I share with all people words and deeds that reflect the Jesus Way. Amen.

Lord, you got angry at the selling and money changing taking place in the temple. In our world the economic systems are full of greed, graft, huge gaps between the rich and the poor, and endless striving for more even by those that have enough. Help me look at my own finances as a gift that must be shared, used wisely, and means of helping the needy instead of hurting. Amen.

I remember Mary today, the woman who anointed Jesus with the costly oil. In so doing she declared Jesus as the Messiah. She could not keep Jesus alive, she was voiceless in her society; so she did what she could by showing love and devotion through the anointing. Help me, O God to model my life after her and do all I can for you. Amen.

God, you have promised us new hearts and a new spirit within each of us. This gift is ours to accept and in so doing we will form a new relationship with you. I truly want a heart that is open to you and a spirit that will keep pushing me to seek justice for all your children. Help me as I struggle to let go of the old ways, I pray. Amen

At the Passover table, Jesus took the common bread and wine and turned it into something special. In so doing he opened up God’s promise of newness. He showed hospitality in hosting the meal and showed us that his table is for everyone. In the name of Jesus I ask that I welcome all to share at the table and in the fellowship of the church. Amen

I have another difficult question God: Would I have be at home during the crucifixion or at the foot of the cross? I don’t understand such cruelty, but today similar acts take place all the time. Violence is done toward the outsider, the one who doesn’t worship as do the majority, the “different”. Help me to find my place to speak out against violence in all its forms. Guide my words and actions, please. Amen

Dear God, I have fears, frustrations and sorrow as did the disciples on this day. Have you deserted me and the world? I need your help to creatively deal with all me troubles. I know you did not promise us an easy and carefree life, but you did promise presence, comfort, and guidance. Hear my prayer, O Lord. I need you now. Amen.

Thank you God for the resurrection. Christ appears to each of us as we open our hearts to him. Christ calls us to new tasks; to do acts of justice; to witness to your mighty acts. I thank you for the presence of Jesus as guide, comforter and encourager. May the insights and learnings of this Holy Week become an active part of my faith. In the name of the resurrected Christ, I pray. Amen

Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence


Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.

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