Palm Sunday, March 16, 2008
Offered by Adam H. Fronczek, Associate Pastor
Great and gracious God, who lays aside almightiness to be one of us,
today we remember how you rode into Jerusalem,
“Lo, your King comes to you.” Triumphant and yet humble. God come down to earth; eternal and yet about to be put to death.
In this time of Lent, we have reminded ourselves of the fragility of life;
in this Holy Week that is before us, we will be reminded of the sacrifices that you made for a world that is so much in need of your love and your life.
And so we come in prayer, declaring to you the needs of this, our world.
We pray that you might come triumphantly into this world as you rode into Jerusalem long ago.
We pray that you might show us humility and teach us to serve one another and not just ourselves.
We pray, O Lord, that our heads might be lifted up to see a world in need of peace. We remember this week those who have suffered and died in Iraq and Afghanistan. We pray for soldiers and sailors who give bravely of themselves. We pray for their families who wait bravely at home. We pray for the broken bodies and broken hearts and broken spirits that have returned home and are in need of healing. We pray for citizens of the Middle East, people who live a world away and are yet our brothers and sisters; we give thanks for their homes and families and their traditions. We pray that we would all find peace and a way to sustain it. Lord God, we pray that our heads might be lifted up to see and that your glory may come in.
We pray, O Lord, for our city and our nation and its leaders. We pray that leaders would understand themselves as servants; we pray that the kings of our age would see the example of Jesus, leading his people by his humility. Help us all, O Lord, to give our energy and attention to issues that matter. In a world full of the news of scandalous leaders and struggles for power, help us, your church, to be attentive to things that matter. Help us find ways to fill empty bellies and provide clean water and support courageous teachers. Help us to be a force for good and an example of good leadership and servanthood. Help us to look to you, lifting up our heads that the king of glory may come in.
We give you thanks, O God, because although we rarely lift up our heads in the way that we should, you still stoop down to be among us. We thank you that you will come all the way into our lives this week. This week we will see how you were despised and rejected; we will see how you were betrayed and crucified. And we will see our own responsibility and complicity in that senseless act. So, Lord, lift up our heads, that this Holy Week, when you come, we may see in a new way the wonderful message you bring to us: a message of peace and love, a message of wholeness and prosperity for all people, a message of justice and a message of grace, a message that comes after men and women.
We are weak, O Lord, but you are strong and mighty. You are in charge in the midst of your humility. So lift up our heads, that we might see the king of glory come into our world. Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church