The resurrection of Jesus Christ is what sets our faith apart from all others. Easter is the pinnacle of the Christian calendar. Yet, often due to other distractions – family dinners, Easter egg hunts, chocolate candy, and bunny rabbits – we don’t take the time to prepare our hearts to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. Certainly, this was true for me in the years when I was raising kids. With a husband who was a pastor, multiple services, new clothes, Easter baskets, and food prep, it all took a lot of time and energy. However, in recent years I’ve changed and placed greater priority on preparing my heart.
Preparing speaks of welcoming. When I have guests coming to my home, I spend time preparing. I make sure the house is clean. I take the time to stock the pantry and cook meals that delight. I may prepare special desserts or buy the guests certain candy so that they feel welcome.
Taking the time to prepare our hearts for Easter re-welcomes the Lord into our lives. It assures that we don’t lose our absolute awe for the amazing sacrifice of the cross and the incredible wonder of the empty tomb. In thinking about this, I’ve written 7 scripturally-based prayers to prepare your heart for Easter. There’s one for each day of the week leading up to the glory of the resurrection.
1. Palm Sunday
Oh Lord, the wonder of the love that you demonstrated towards me through your death on the cross leaves me staggering. Father God, in Your great love for me, You made the One who had no sin to become sin, so that in Him I might be clothed in your righteousness. Lord Jesus, You took up my sin and bore my suffering. You were pierced and slaughtered for my transgressions, and by Your wounds, I am healed. Holy One, I can’t believe in all the suffering that You did not open Your mouth in self-defense. God, I am so often tempted to defend myself and make myself look better to others. Thank You for willingly going to the cross. Oh God, the wonder of the cross is both too horrible and too hopeful for my human mind to fathom. Holy Spirit fill me with a deeper understanding of how profound the work of calvary is in my life. Awaken in my soul deeper gratitude for the price you paid. Fill me with a heart of praise! (Based on 2 Corinthians 5:21, Isaiah 53:1-6).
2. Holy Monday
Holy One, in my humanness I have such an aversion to suffering. Yet, your Word invites me to rejoice when I suffer because I get to enter, in a very small way, into the suffering of Christ. Truthfully, this is such a hard concept for me. Thank you for the small ways You’ve allowed me to suffer through my life because those experiences have carved into my soul a deeper appreciation for Your suffering. I ask You, Holy Spirit to give me a far greater appreciation for the suffering of Christ and to form within me, the same attitude which was found in Christ Jesus, who gave up all the privileges of heaven and became obedient to the Father’s plan even, death on a cross. Create in me the humility of Jesus so that I might respond to You, in obedience. (Based on 1 Peter 3:12-13 and Philippians 2:5-8).
3. Holy Tuesday
Lord, remind me as I celebrate Your death and resurrection that I have been crucified with Christ. My old life is dead. I have been resurrected into a new life in Christ. Through my union with Christ, You, Lord, live your life through me. I praise You, Lord, that I don’t have to try harder to be holy, I simply have to live life out of my union with Christ. Remind me, as I celebrate your death and resurrection this week, that my life is not my own. I’ve been bought with a price and it is my joy to surrender to You in all things. As You live Your life through me, my life is continually resurrected in You! (Based on Galatians 2:20 and 1 Corinthians 6:20).
4. Spy Wednesday
Holy One, I cannot imagine the heartbreak of the disciples between Friday and Sunday. It is such a reminder to trust you with the in-between times of my life when I feel like I don’t know what’s going to happen next. Thank you that just when it feels as though all hope is lost, You are there. Strengthen me as I wait for resurrection in my life. Help me to remember, that it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Strengthen me, Holy Spirit to commit as the Psalmist did, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word, I hope.” I praise You that daily I can have hope because You live! I pray that through this resurrection week, You would renew my hope, joy, and peace, moment by moment, and flow through me with hope to others. (Based on Lamentations 3:25-26, Psalm 130:5, and Romans 15:13).
5. Maundy Thursday
Lord God, I ask that You would give me a renewed spirit of wisdom and revelation so that I might fully realize the hope that the resurrection brings. I praise You that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead now lives in me! Wow! Holy One, what a staggering thought! I praise You, Lord Jesus, because You are now alive and seated at the right hand of the Father and have been given all authority, dominion, and power over the present age and the age to come. When my heart fills with fear, remind me Lord that You have all power and authority both now and forevermore. I praise You, that You reign supreme and no evil can prevail against You. The victory is Yours! (Based on Ephesians 1:17-22).
6. Good Friday
Lord, I praise You that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in me! He is able to give me wisdom and strength when I need it. How I thank You that after you resurrected You promised You would leave us a counselor who would be with us and in us. What a gift! All the dynamic power of life in the Spirit is readily accessible to me. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit I pray as I celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. May I know how life-changing His resurrection is for me? I praise You that because He lives, I also will live eternally with Him and the Spirit of Christ will give life to my mortal body. (Based on Romans 8:11, John 14:15-31)
7. Black Saturday
Ah Lord God, as I celebrate Easter and the triumphant victory of Jesus Christ over death and hell and sin, I fall down before You and worship You. I cry with others around the world, “worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” All of the creation bows before You Lord Jesus because You are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords who has won the victory and conquered death! (Based on Revelation 5:12, Philippians 2:10-11).
Friend, as we celebrate the magnificence of the resurrection, take a few quiet moments and prepare your heart. Spend time praying Scripture and praising God for the finished work of Christ on the cross and the glory of the resurrection! In doing so, the Holy Spirit will awaken deeper worship in your heart for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Authentic. Passionate. Funny and Biblical all describe Becky Harling. A best-selling author, Becky is a popular speaker at conferences, retreats, and other events. She is the author of 11 books and her most recent book, How to Listen so Your Kids Will Talk has become a favorite among parents. Becky is a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team and offers coaching for pastor’s wives who are struggling in ministry. You can connect with Becky at www.beckyharling.com, www.harlingleadership.com, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/beckyharlingministries, Twitter, @beckyharling, or on Instagram at Becky Harling