8 Prayers to Guide You Through Each Day of Holy Week 

Contributing Writer
Updated Feb 21, 2024
8 Prayers to Guide You Through Each Day of Holy Week 

In the final days before His death, Jesus knew he was close to fulfilling his purpose for coming to earth. He recognized the day of his agony was coming quickly. He foresaw the deep inhalation of what some call “Black Saturday (or Holy Saturday),” followed by the triumphant exhalation of ‘Resurrection Sunday’ which we celebrate on Easter.

The forty days of Lent allow us to reflect intensely on the sacrifice Christ made for us. Some chose to fast, give up specific things, instill a new habit, or simply create more margin to remain in the presence of the Lord in prayer and the reading of His Word. But the final week of Lent, often referred to as ‘Holy Week,’ represents the road to the cross on Calvary, where Jesus was crucified.

Here is a prayer for every day of Holy Week, each dedicated to worshiping and glorifying our risen Savior.

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Waving palms

Day One: Palm Sunday

Father, we remember that you had already told us to expect Jesus to come:

“Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” -Zechariah 9:9

We rejoice that he came in humility to fulfill prophecy and to show your people that you keep your promises.

Father, we remember that Jesus, though he is King, rode on the back of a humble animal, not astride a war horse, not dressed in the clothing of a monarch. And yet, the people knew and recognized their Savior, waving palm branches as a sign of victory, as though saying, “We know who you are, and we know what you have come to do! We celebrate you, our Savior, our King!”

We remember, Lord, that Jesus’ plan was better than the people of Jerusalem could have imagined. Your plan for us is always better than the plans we craft for ourselves. Thank you, Lord, that you sent Jesus back then not to save those people from a finite enemy but instead to save us all from our own sin for all eternity.

In Jesus’ Name,

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Man praying

Day Two: Holy Monday

Lord, we pray, Father, that we will not be like the fig tree Christ used to help us understand the fruitless life of religiosity. When he saw that tree, lush with leaves yet yielding no fruit, Jesus cursed it. If we look like shiny, pleasant, nice Christians, we can still live fruitless Christian lives under the glitter and sparkles. Convict our hearts if we are ever prone to be all talk, no action, and no heart.

Father, thank you for making our lives fruitful and preparing a purpose for us to step into. (Ephesians 2). Thank you for your Son’s perfect example, guiding us to walk in the ways you have established for us. Please, Lord, show us the works you have prepared and embolden us to love you openly. Show us where we should go, what we should do, and how to effectively minister to the many needs around us. You have made a way for every person who loves you to serve you by serving others. We beg you to help us know whether or not we are doing what you want, and we beg you to make us fruitful. We don’t want to be like that fig tree.

In Jesus’ Name,

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Woman raising hands outside

Day Three: Holy Tuesday

Lord God: we surrender our authority to you. Jesus has all authority in our lives, so help us to yield to him and destroy our pride. Pride blinded the Pharisees, and are we like them, telling you what’s what instead of hearing you tell us! Pride separates us from you and dulls the awe and reverence that should bubble up inside us whenever we think about who you are - our loving Father! Sinful choices will never satisfy anyway. Why do we do it? Father, soften our hearts to submit to your gentle and loving reign.

When Jesus entered the temple in Jerusalem, the religious leaders questioned and berated Jesus. Their lifestyle was threatened by a challenge to live a life of genuine reverence to God, not merely put on a good show. Is that us? God, examine my heart, and

“See if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” -Psalm 139:24

God, root out the sinful longings of my heart which aim to depose you as King of my life. There are so many mysteries, things we want to know now but that you don’t wish to show us. Help us - help me - to believe that what’s in front of me is enough.

In Jesus’ Name,

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/priscilla-du-preez

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asian businessman hands folded in prayer looking up for hope

Day Four: Holy Wednesday

Lord, we don’t know about every minute of every day of Jesus’ last days before the cross, and we don’t need to. We can only try to imagine the turmoil inside of him as the day approached, and he thought about how Judas would betray him: Jesus knew, yet he walked with that man, served him, and ate with him.

But God, I’m Judas! I sin against Jesus every day! I reject him by not following his teaching but not doing what he did, and you still walk side-by-side with me as I try to carry my cross to the end of my earthly life. Why, Lord? Though you have told us that it’s because of your great love for us (Ephesians 2), I cannot fathom the kind of love that would forgive the darkness of my sin.

Lord, you saw how it would all turn out. You even saw that we were still sinners, doubting you, and that didn’t stop you from choosing to save us. Father, I can’t wrap my head around the enormity of that truth - help me simply walk faithfully in the reality of your tremendous love for sinners like me.

In Jesus’ Name,

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last supper, bread loaf and a cup of wine

Day Five: Maundy Thursday

Holy Father, thank you for the consistency of your Word. The Passover Supper Jesus and his disciples shared reminds us that you are the same God yesterday, today, and forever. It reminds us that your covenant has been opened up to everyone who loves your Son.

Better still, Jesus showed us how to live while we wait for his return. He washed their feet. Father, we cannot wait passively for your return - we must serve if we are to be like Jesus! Give us confidence to know we are where you want us to be, and then give us eyes (please, oh Lord!) to see whose feet to wash, figuratively or literally.

God, I don’t always want to serve others, but you did it. Why should I be above doing anything which Jesus would have done? I can’t be. Humble my heart and give me eyes to see the needs out there. Remind me that I'm reaching out to you every time I reach out to help. (Matthew 25:31-46) I’m fulfilling the ministry you have placed in front of me. Whether that’s cleaning toilets at church or listening to a sufferer share their heart, fill me with joy and compassion.

In Jesus’ Name,

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Mizina

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easter cross and palm leaf on purple background

Day Six: Good Friday 

God, it can be difficult to find the good in this day that you have made, the very day we commemorate the crucifixion of your Son. As believers, we understand, and yet it breaks our hearts at the same time. We nailed your Son to that cross ourselves, but it had to be done, or we would not be free to worship you, and our relationship with you would not have been redeemed. The only way to be restored to you was through the blood of Christ, the Passover Lamb, and we thank you for his obedience on that dreadful and Good Friday.

If this has had such an impact on my life, what stops me from sharing the truth about your Son with others? Please provide the opportunity to share your Son’s goodness with others. Please, Lord, open my eyes to see these miraculous appointments and provide boldness to speak truth to the lost. I was once lost, but you pursued, found, and saved me! I want everyone to know the joy of being your child and safe within your fold.

We are safe because you gave up your safety. We are free because you let them take you. We live because you gave up your life, Jesus. Thank you.

In Jesus’ Name,

Photo Credit: Getty Images/coompia77

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praying hands confession dark room

Day Seven: Holy Saturday

Lord in Heaven, I never want to take your light for granted. There was a darkness in waiting for our sins to be forgiven through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross—a darkness I will never experience. Yes, we are waiting to see you in person, and waiting for your return. Sometimes, it feels dark, yet we know the story. We know you rose again. Joseph, Mary, Peter, Nicodemus, Matthew, Martha; they didn’t know, even though they walked with you and saw you raise Lazarus from the dead. (John 11)

Your agonizing death on the cross must have haunted them all. Saturday would have been a dark day indeed, of confusion, despair, and the agonizing hopefulness that you would return on the third day as you had promised- a promise Jesus’ friends did not fully understand as he lay in the tomb. God, this time of waiting feels endless, so remind me to encourage my brothers and sisters to remain faithful, joyful, and expectant. We don’t need to doubt - Jesus was raised from the dead! We KNOW he will take us home when the time is right.

The Apostle Paul tells us to encourage one another because life is sometimes discouraging. (1 Thessalonians 5:11). We want to see you. The world is such an evil place. Never let us forget that you came into this darkness and brought us out and that we can lead others to the light according to your purpose and by your power only.

In Jesus’ Name,

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Victorious Easter Sunday

Victorious Easter Sunday

Hallelujah, Father! Christ Jesus is risen! This is the day we celebrate! No amount of praise can properly convey how stunning your victory is. The darkness we were stuck in before this day no longer ceases to exist. No longer captives of sin, we have been set free by the love of Jesus and the sacrifice he made for all of us on the cross. What others thought was a painful defeat turned out to be the defeat of death! Jesus rose from the dead. Hallelujah, Father! He is alive! He is risen!

We cannot be grateful enough! We cannot dance and sing enough. Father, we want you to know that we love you and ask you to increase our love for you. Through your Son Jesus Christ, we know that there is no power in the heavens or on earth greater than yours that can raise the dead, even a sinner like me. Thank you, God, for loving me so much; you sent your one and only Son, Jesus, to die for me. I am in awe of your heart, God. I am in awe of who you are. Thank you! Praise you! Let my life, the life Jesus died for me to live fully, bring glory and honor to you.

In Jesus’ name,

Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-stories/holy-week-bible-story.html
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/leolintang

Candice Lucey is a freelance writer from British Columbia, Canada, where she lives with her family. Find out more about her here.

Originally published Wednesday, 21 February 2024.