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Prayer for the Week 23rd March 2024

Prayer for the Week 23rd March 2024
March 23, 2024 Bronwen


As we approach Holy Week, I wonder how you have journeyed through Lent.

Have you given up chocolate or wine? Have you taken something up? volunteering?

I, for the third-year running have been involved with the Victoria Methodist Bristol Lent Knitalong. Two years ago, it was a cushion cover, last year a scarf, this year a prayer shawl. Each week we receive via Fb several lines of knitting and lent reflections for each day. Though I used to knit many years ago, it is a skill I have taken up again. I am slightly behind, which is the story of my life really. You can decide if it any good, however for me the process is more important than the final piece. Sitting down each evening to knit my few lines, musing on the reflections, gives me the excuse I need to sit a while, in peace and contemplation, bringing me nearer to God.

I have found this a much better preparation for Easter than any other method.

Psalm 31

In this Psalm David is fighting shame. His enemies have publicly humiliated him. David suffers under the weight of it all, just existing takes all his energy. Conspiracies to dethrone him, take his life and put someone else in power are everywhere.

In spite of his own suffering, David holds on to what is true about God. God is trustworthy and he will deliver David, God has not given David over to his enemies. God is his refuge, fortress and rock. When David trusts God as his shelter, his name, reputation and life will be saved from shame. Despite what it looks like, David knows that God will rescue him from the lies swirling around him.

Like David, Jesus was publicly shamed, maligned and condemned. Though He was guiltless he publicly suffered as if He was guilty.

Like David, those around Jesus equated his suffering with God’s rejected. But Jesus knew God saw his affliction and would be his vindicating shelter.

As we move from Palm Sunday with the celebration of Jesus entering Jerusalem, amongst those waving palms, to the journey through Holy Week, we remember though perhaps we cannot fully understand, the sacrifices Jesus made for each one of us. As we remember the final supper with his disciples, the scene in the Garden, the trials, the flogging, the dark road carrying the cross, the final dark day of Good Friday unable to appreciate the true horror and pain that must have been wrought, we remember that this sacrifice saves us. When Jesus rises from the dead, he answers not only David’s prayer in a way David couldn’t imagine, he answers ours too. If we trust in Jesus we too will be raised as He was, no shame, ridicule, lie or condemnation will prevent us from our heavenly home.

Loving God

As we enter Holy Week, turn our hearts again to Jerusalem,

To the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Stir within us, the gift of faith, that we may not only praise him with our voices but follow Him in the way of the cross.

O Lord, who on this day entered the rebellious city that later rejected you:

We confess that our wills are rebellious as Jerusalem’s

That our faith is often more show than substance,

That our hearts are in need of cleansing.

Have mercy on us, son of David, Saviour of our lives

Help us to lay at your feet

All that we have and all that we are, trusting you

To forgive what is sinful

To heal what is broken

To welcome our praises

And to receive us as your own.

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, Saviour 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.


(written by John Paarlberg, retired minister)

Ruth Dawson – MWiB Media Coordinator