Traditionally, Palm Sunday is the day that Christians commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the Sunday before His passion and resurrection. This day marks the official, ceremonious presentation of Jesus Christ as Israel’s king. In accordance with Old Testament prophecy, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a the foal of a donkey as a humble and suffering King, committed to His date with the Cross. It is on this occasion that Jesus declared Himself as the Son of David, the King of the Jews. While they had looked forward to the arrival of their Messiah, the people did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah that they had yearned for all these years. In their eyes, He was not the one they had anticipated or expected. Yet, there He was—Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, come to save the world.
So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!
The Gospel of John 12:13 (ESV)
As I think about what and how to pray on this Palm Sunday amid the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to share some prayers written by other people with you. Perhaps, you’re struggling with how to know how to pray or what to pray for on this Holy Day as the world wrestles in the throes of a health and economic crisis. My hope is that these prays will help you in your prayer time today and throughout this Holy Week 2020 by providing you comfort, encouragement, guidance and wisdom.
Lord, you rode straight into the power of the enemy to suffer and die; give us the strength to follow you to the centres of opposition in this world, and the confidence which confronts power with love.
Lord, on this Palm Sunday you were given a hero’s welcome as one who was going the way of the crowd: but you had chosen the way of the cross, and the applause was short lived. Keep bright and clear before us the vision of our calling, that we may never be diverted from the way you have chosen for us, but may follow in the steps of you, our crucified and risen Lord, to whom be all glory, laud, and honor, this day and for evermore.
King of the universe, whose son entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey to the praise of the crowds, help us to recognize in him the one who comes in the name of the Lord, and to acclaim him, crying, “Hosanna in the highest!” May we make sacrifices for the coming of your kingdom, giving not only our hallelujahs, but also our hearts.
A Palm Sunday Poem
Marie J. Post
Astride the colt and claimed as King
that Sunday morning in the spring,
he passed a thornbush flowering red
that one would plait to crown his head.
He passed a vineyard where the wine
was grown for men of royal line
and where the dregs were also brewed
into a gall for Calvary’s rood.
A purple robe was cast his way,
then caught and kept until that day
when, with its use, a trial would be
profaned into a mockery.
His entourage was forced to wait
to let a timber through the gate,
a shaft that all there might have known
would be an altar and a throne.
Jesus was no stranger to the people of Jerusalem. As an obedient Jew, he naturally made trips to the city during the three mandatory annual festivals. We see evidence of this in the Gospel of John who describes the ministry work that Jesus did during His multiple visits there. On this inaugural Palm Sunday, His entrance stirred up the entire city and marked the turning point of Jesus’ final week of earthly ministry as He fulfilled His mission that would lead Him to the Cross in order to redeem humanity and reconcile us with God. In preparing for this pivotal event, Jesus did not miss any detail, making sure that every prophecy about His arrival was fulfilled.
God is invested in us. He is a personal God whom we can have relationship and enjoy fellowship with during this life as we look forward to our the next life in Heaven. Details matter to God. He’s not some remote creator loosely watching over His creation from afar. He is right here with us. To me, that’s of great comfort, especially during this crisis that our world is currently experiencing. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I do know with great confidence that wherever you and I go, God goes with us.
My Palm Sunday Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, the Son, Holy Spirit—our one true God, three persons in One—all knowing, ever present, invested in Your creation—hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on this Earth as it is in Heaven. May the nations proclaim Your name! May the people of the world sing and shout Your praises from one end of the Earth to another. Hosanna, Lord, to the Highest. Hosanna! Hallelujah, Jesus, anchor of our salvation. Hallelujah! Holy Spirit, help us pray now even though we may not know how to pray or what exactly to pray for. Hear us, O almighty God. Hear our cry! Heal our land! Rescue Your people! We confess our sins as a nation. We lay our burdens and cares at Your feet.
Forgive us God, and relieve us from this sickness sweeping throughout our land and throughout the world. May it be Your will, Lord, to lead us out of this crisis. Let us turn our eyes on You, Jesus. Give us the supernatural strength we need, O Holy Spirit, to persevere and endure this calamity that has stricken Your people, God. On this Holy Day, we remember Your willing sacrifice on our behalf. We acknowledge with our hearts, our souls, and our minds the gift You gave us through Jesus Christ, our Messiah.
Thank You, O Lord, for redeeming us from our brokenness and making something new and beautiful out of us. Nothing is impossible for You, O Lord. Nothing. May we walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel and of our calling. We praise You, Lord. We praise You, today, and forever. In Jesus’ name, by the power of the Spirit. Amen.
I pray that all is well with you and those you love. Thank you for taking time to read this post and for visiting my blog, The Devotional Guy™. Feel free to like this post, leave a comment in the comments section below, and share it with those you know. Be sure to follow The Devotional Guy™ to get notified of my new posts. You can also connect with me through social media on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram!
- How are you celebrating Palm Sunday this year amid the COVID-19 crisis?
- What special activities do you have planned in recognition of Holy Week during this time when we are experiencing global upheaval, social distancing, and COVID-19?
- How much more meaningful is Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross to you this year given all that is going on in our world today?
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Be well.
The Devotional Guy™
ABOUT: The Devotional Guy™is a writing ministry of Rainer Bantau, a chaplain actively and intentionally sharing the love of Jesus with people working in the marketplace, the homeless, and wherever else he encounters them.
Ashwin, Angela. (1996). The Book of a Thousand Prayers. Zondervan. Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Batchelor, Mary. (1995). Poetry for the Soul. Moorings. Nashville, Tennessee
To experience life the way God intended, you and I must receive God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. This gift from God is available to all who ask. Will you personally receive the gift of eternal life so that you can experience the total forgiveness from your sins that come through believing in the atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13