Holy Week Daily Prayers

Choose a time – morning or evening or whenever suits you- that you will be able to be quiet for a little while. Try to find a peaceful corner of your home- and maybe light a candle. Sit quietly and breathe deeply. Open your heart. Offer to God those things which are distracting or pre-occupying you at this moment and consciously “park” them. You can choose what to do with them again when you have finished your time of worship. You may choose not to pick them back up!

come-holy-spirit-2021 - Holy Spirit Church
You might like to begin with the following prayer:
We adore you O Christ, and we bless you
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world
Read the Gospel for the day
Sit with it for a few minutes. Think about it- how do you respond to it? What speaks to you form these words?
Now read the Reflection which is offered for the day. Does this help you?
You may like to say the prayer offered each day, and then spend some timepraying for the concerns on your heart, concluding with the Lords Prayer. Continue with your day, knowing that God loves you.


Jesus in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane

Mark 14 v 32-42


‘Not what I want, but what you want’

The little boy waited with absolute patience for his moment. He could only have been two or three, but he timed it to perfection. The moment his mother turned away, he was off, running as fast as his little legs would carry him down the High Street, his face alive with joy.

Of course it didn’t last long and his mother soon outpaced him. But the look on his face said everything. That short moment of freedom meant everything. That child wanted control over his own life. And that is something we value even more as adults. It means everything to us that we can make our own decisions, begin and end our own relationships, and chose for ourselves where we live and how we earn.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, it is this precious control of his own life that Jesus hands over. He could have avoided the cross and lived life exactly as he wanted. But he doesn’t. ‘Not what I want, but what do you want,’ he says, and entrusts himself wholly to the Father. Why? Because he knows that it is when we willingly hand our freedom over to God that we find in him a freedom that lasts for ever.

No matter how much we value the capacity to make private decisions, in the end that cannot set us free. Whether we like it or not, we are captives. We are chained up by responsibilities and expectations, we are bound fast by sin and death.

We find freedom when we sign over the rights to our own lives and offer them to the Father. In the short term that may not be the easiest of paths. But ultimately it is the path of liberation.

hand-cross.jpg - LIFE Runners Team


Lord Jesus, you entered the garden of fear and faced the agony of your impending death: be with those who share that agony and face death unwillingly this day. You shared our fear and knew the weakness of our humanity: give strength and hope to the dispirited and despairing. To you, Jesus, who sweated blood, be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. AMEN


Peter denies Jesus

Mark 14 v 66 -72


‘He broke down and wept’

‘If you want any help with sin, give me a call’. The words were attached to a telephone box in one of the more down -at-heel parts of London, It is a generous offer, but one that should probably be declined, not least because of the faulty understanding of sin demonstrated by the person who issued the invitation.

Like so many, that person assumed that sin is an action or a series of actions. But the word is a deeper one that that, describing the condition from which negative actions can flow. Sin describes our fundamental apartness from God, our presumption that we know better than him how to run our lives, our refusal to accept the implications of his love for us.

Peter weeps out of sin. He thought he knew better than Jesus and could defend him. In fact, he has failed even to show the courage to make a stand for him when challenged and has denied him three times.

But actually Peter’s tears were the start of a new way of life. I once attended a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous and was profoundly moved by the testimony of those who had come to see that they had no strength of themselves to overcome their addiction. They needed to rely on a higher power.

To deal with sin you first need to understand that you have no power to overcome it yourself. You need to rely on the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. That’s what Peter’s tears lead him to understand. As he begins a new life, he shows us how we can do the same.

hand-cross.jpg - LIFE Runners Team


Lord Jesus, as Peter betrayed you, you experienced the double agony of love rejected and friendship denied: be with those who know no friends and are rejected by society. You understood the fear within Peter: help us to understand the anxieties of those who fear for their future To you, Jesus, who gazed with sadness at your lost friend, be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. AMEN


Jesus scourged and crowned with thorns

Mark 15 v 16-20


‘They spat upon him’

It must be revolting to be spat at, for your face to be covered in someone else’s saliva and mucus, to taste it in your own mouth. Yet that is just one part of the appalling abuse that Jesus faces as the soldiers rough him up, ready for the cross.

The abuse is not just physical. It’s mental. It’s emotional. They pretend to worship him; they mock the kingly title that some had used of him; they press the thorns of a fake crown through his skin. It’s horrible, humiliating abuse. And there is nothing Jesus can do. There is no point in fighting back or objecting. He just has to sit and take it.

As Jesus does so, he puts himself in the place of human suffering. Here he identifies himself with the child bullied in school, with the employee mocked in the workplace and with the victim of torture. Here he is alongside the victim of coercive control, the abused, and the enslaved. Here he abides with the fearful and the anxious and those for whom the future is a thing of terror.

There are no quick fixes, no simplistic, instant solutions. He is just there with those who suffer, and remains there, lifting their pain onto his shoulders.

In Jesus, God locates himself with the victimised and the suffering. So when you suffer, Jesus is there with you in the midst of it.

hand-cross.jpg - LIFE Runners Team


Lord Jesus, you face the torment of barbaric punishment and mocking tongue: be with those who cry out in physical agony and emotional distress. You endured unbearable abuse: be with those who face torture and mockery in our world today. To you, Jesus, the King crowned with thorns, be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. AMEN


Jesus promises the kingdom to the penitent thief

Luke 23 v39-43


‘Today you will be with me in paradise’

A police station in North London, A priest is in the queue waiting to report a crime when suddenly the man in front turns and says, ‘Can I talk to you?’ He tells the priest what he has done, an act that weighed deeply on his conscience but was not a criminal offence. Yet he felt that reporting himself to the police was the only way to deal with the guilt.

The priest starts to talk to him about other sources of forgiveness and other ways of dealing with guilt. ‘But what if I don’t believe in God?’ the man asks. The priest looks blank. He is simply unable to answer the question.

Without God forgiveness is hard, if not impossible, because it is not a human instinct. Human nature requires revenge, and so it struggles to forgive either others or itself. It is though the cross of Jesus Christ that we can know what it is to be forgiven and to forgive.

As he hangs on the cross, Jesus forgives a criminal. And the forgiveness he offers has authority because of the death that he is dying in that very moment. As Jesus offers his life to the Father, so he dies the death that we sinners deserve. Sin is defeated and forgiveness coms flowing into the world.

As he ministers to the criminal, so Jesus demonstrates that forgiveness is available to each one of us. If we turn to Jesus, sorry for what we have done, longing for a fresh start, the forgiveness will always flow from the cross. And as we receive forgiveness from him, so we are empowered to forgive others.

hand-cross.jpg - LIFE Runners Team


Lord Jesus, even in your deepest agony you listened to the crucified thief: hear us as we unburden to you our deepest fears. You spoke words of love in your hour of death: help us to speak words of life to a dying world To you, Jesus, who offers hope to the hopeless, be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. AMEN


Jesus dies on the cross

Mark 15 v 33-39


‘Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last’

What kind of a God is it who goes and gets himself killed?

No wonder St Paul accepted that the cross seemed like foolishness to others. No wonder that, from the very first, Christians have been mocked and abused for such a bizarre belief. Surely the whole point of God is that he is eternal. How crazy, the, to offer your whole life to a hanged God?

Yet this moment of unspeakable and abandoned death is the most intense moment of divine revelation. The Christian God reveals his power through powerlessness. Because from the cross we see that there can be no greater strength than the strength of selfless love.

This act of utter, unconditional self-giving subverts and overturns all the twisted values of the world. As Jesus dikes, the powerful are shown to be powerless. The dealers of injustice, the oppressors and the polluters are placed under judgement. The captives are set free. Because as we gaze upon the hanged God, we see a world transformed by love.

The selfishness of sin is overcome by the selflessness of love. And our response? To try and love as Jesus loved. To offer our lives as a gift to the poor as Jesus offered his life to us who have nothing. If the cross is our only hope, then it will also be our lifestyle.

hand-cross.jpg - LIFE Runners Team


Lord Jesus, you died on the cross and entered the bleakest of all circumstances: give courage to those who die at the hands of others. In death you entered into the darkest place of all: illumine our darkness with your glorious presence. To you, Jesus, your lifeless body hanging on the tree of shame, be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. AMEN

Reflections and Prayers are from ‘ Walking the Way of the Cross’ by Stephen Cottrell, Paula Gooder and Philip North, published by Church House Publishing 2019