Prayer For Palm Sunday Service

Today we pray for all who are tempted by power:
for our political leaders with many followers who will do anything to stay popular;
for those with great financial resources, who only want to use it for themselves;
for those with power over vulnerable people, who hurt those in their care.
You know how each one of us is being tempted in our own life:
In this moment of silence we meet you at our own crossroads,
we feel your great tender love for us and listen to your voice.[Silence]
Thank you that you don't just show us the way,
you are the way, and you empower us to follow you.
We follow you together, with hosannas in our hearts.
In Jesus' holy name we pray, Amen.

God, hear our prayer
from the lonesome valleys
of this world wide pandemic.
Open our hearts to the possibility
that today is the day of our visitation;
you walk triumphantly through closed doors,
meeting us when others cannot come.
Accept our solitary hosannas,
and gather us together in prayer:
Blessed is the One
who comes in the name of the Lord.

On this Palm Sunday, things are different.
No children waving palm branches in processions,
no collective singing of hosannas, loud hosannas,
no exultant crowds, here or anywhere.
The streets are quiet.
What resonates is the image of you, Jesus,
weeping over Jerusalem,
crying for a people surrounded by enemies,
who do not know the things that make for peace.

Our tiny, lethal enemy is invisible to the naked eye.
We jump when people cough,
we eye each other suspiciously,
not knowing where the danger is lurking.
We fear for all the vulnerable,
and we fear for ourselves.
As our lives are overturned,
and restrictions are put in place,
it's not business as usual
and economic worries are added to the mix.
Anxiety settles like a dense cloud
over all the world.
We need you more than ever, Jesus.

Friends in Christ:
For the five weeks of Lent
we have been preparing
for the celebration of our Lord's suffering and death.

Today, together with the whole church,
we begin this holy week by welcoming our Messiah.
So, like the people of long ago,
let us welcome Jesus
and follow him to the cross.

The minister says this prayer.
Let us pray.
Lord, as we remember how Christ the King
entered Jerusalem to the sound of joyful shouts,
increase our faith
and listen to our prayers,
so that we may praise you every day,
by living always in him.
For he lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.

God our Saviour, whose Son Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem as Messiah to suffer and to die, let these palms be for us signs of His victory; and grant that we who bear them in His name may ever hail Him as our King, and follow Him in the way that leads to eternal life; who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Lord God, almighty, all-merciful,
how great is your love
that you went down to the depths for us:
into suffering, sin, and shame,
into darkness, despair, and death.
We trust in you, O Lord
we trust in you alone.
Deliver us now, we pray;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen

God in highest heaven,
how humbly you enter our world to reign:
in Christ Jesus
on dusty road, riding a donkey.
Help us to pave the way for your eternal realm
with our prayer and praise,
with our service and love,
until the very stones cry out
at the coming of your new creation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Triumphant Lord, We rejoice in your entry into the world and into our lives!
Joining with the crowds, we sing your praises and exalt your reign,
but even so, our hearts are far from true worship,
our minds are distant from true understanding.
We are disappointed with your humility,
we are uninspired by your selflessness.
Our sin leads us to give you death
even though you give us life.
Our treachery guides us to war
even though you call us to peace.
Help us to reflect in our lives the glory of your Son
and to live faithfully here and now.
Have mercy on us, Savior of all,
find us in these forsaken places.
Forgive what we have done and who we have been.
Bring us home again and impart within us a new song of joy and celebration.