A Prayer for Palm/Passion Sunday

Prayers of the People
(a prayer offered at Northminster Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis on March 24, 2024 - Palm/Passion Sunday)

We have shouted our Hosannas and lauded you as the victor.
We have waved our palm branches before you,
the One who humbly entered the city on the back of the foal of a donkey.
We joined the throngs in song and celebration.
We were certain that you would pave the way for us to the seat of power
and that position would in turn make us powerful.
So we follow you into the heart of every city.
And if we are honest, we want to be seen, to have influence.
We want access to the decision makers and the powerbrokers 
because we followed you.

But Lord, you show us another way.
You help us to see what true power looks like;
power given away,
power in submission,
power in kneeling,
power in weakness,
power in dying to the ways the masses' desire power and access.
Teach us your ways, O Christ.

You emptied yourself.
In your humanity, through your humility,
you gave us the example of what true humanity looks like.
A life lived for the sake of others.

So Christ, we ask that you
give us courage to lay down our palm branches and follow your way to another tree.
Grant us strength to walk the narrow path with you . . . 
seeing others, 
valuing the fullness of their humanity, 
protecting their right to be exactly who they are where they are.

Fill us with the compassion that does not act to elevate self, but to serve others, 
to work toward a world where wars cease, 
where violence ends, 
where every person has more than enough, 
where no one is left to fend for themselves, 
where all are included, celebrated, honored, liberated, and safe.

May our way not contradict your way.
May our words, our deeds, our lives be a reflection of the way
in which you served others through giving of yourself.

And then, teach us to pray as you once taught your disciples to pray saying,
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.


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