On Sunday, April 5th, I participated in a prayer & praise service at my church. Our normal Sunday evening, laid back, casual service was filled with prayer, singing, sharing and community. It was an amazing evening of glorifying God for all He has done and all He will do.
We prayed through the crucifiction and resurrection of Christ. I prayed through Mark 16:1-8. I've included the prayer I prayed, mostly just so I always know where it is. Please keep in mind this isn't word for word. You know how you can plan something out, work it all out in your head and then God takes you down another path... Well... a change or two here and there but it was enough. Nothing dramatic, you'll still get the point but, well, God changed a few words.
On this Good Friday - I only ask that you ask questions, look deep, listen closely (with your heart more than your head) and believe. Believe.
Here is the prayer:
We thank You for Your willingness to hear us today, Oh Lord. We thank You for being willing to listen to our hearts and we pray, Lord that even as we leave here tonight, our hearts and minds are open to listening to You.
Hope, Oh Lord, is often something so many of us see as being in things of this world. Hope gets placed in our jobs, our children, our spouses – even “chance” or “luck.”
Mark 16 verses 1-8 reads:
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"
But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' "
Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
Lord Jesus, that resurrection Sunday so long ago… As those women approached Your tomb, bringing what was needed to honor You in death, their minds swirling with all they thought they had lost that horrible Friday. Were they thinking of the hope they had placed in You and thought they had lost? Were they then brought up short by the greatest, the only true hope:
He has risen. He is not here.
We hear those words, Oh Lord and our hearts leap in our chests; we can’t contain our joy: He has risen.
Our Hope did not remain in that tomb. That Scripture tells us: He is not here. See the place where they laid Him?
Our Hope asks us to speak of Him: Your Word states: But go, tell of Him to His disciples and Peter.
Our Hope goes before us: The Bible says: He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him…
Our Hope keeps His promises: The man in the white robe reminds us: just as He told you.
As the women left the tomb, trembling and bewildered, were they thinking and feeling some of the same things we think and feel as we live our lives, the power of the enemy around us, seeing the havoc sin has wreaked on this earth? Did their thoughts lead them back to You, to realizing what You had done? Did they begin to feel Your hope again, Lord as they had just seen it in that empty tomb?
We praise You, Father God, that You are our Hope. We lift our hands in praise to you, Father God. We lift our voices in worship to you, Lord Jesus.
Our Hope is found in You and You alone. That first Sunday, despite bewilderment and trembling, Your Word tells us to ask: O Death where is your victory? O Death where is your sting?
As the saints pray in Revelation, Oh Lord, we praise You and You alone.
"Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. 4Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy.
All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed."
In the power and the most precious name of Jesus Christ I pray,