Easter Prayer Guidelines
May you begin to feel God's presence enveloping your whole being as you take some time to settle down and relax in God's presence. Be still and focus on your breathing. Slow down consciously as you slow your breathing down. Breathe in the Spirit of God and breathe out all the tensions within. Take as long as you need to centre in on God. You may want to use the following prayer:
I am open, Lord. Please come in.
I am listening, Lord. Please speak.
I am ready, Lord. Please move.
Read through Psalm 42 slowly. What stands out for you in this Psalm? Offer this to God in prayer as you prepare yourself to listen to God.
Meditation and Prayer on the Body of Jesus.
Meditate on the face of Jesus in various situations. Where in your life do you have difficulty looking into his eyes?
Picture him turning and looking at you.
Now, respond to him from your heart.
I am so thankful that you see me as I am God. I have no need for masks, no need to pretend, because you know all there is to know . . . and you love me still. I bare the deepest part of me to you.
I ask your forgiveness for those areas of my life that I find difficult to expose to you, that I try to keep hidden from you. All those aspects of my life that I try to keep in the dark, I bring to you now into your loving light . . .
I pray that you will help me to allow you to deal with those darkest parts of my life . . .
Thank you that nothing I do is beyond your love and your redemption . . . You gave yourself - your life - so that I might be free from darkness . . . Fill me with your light.
The Lord said . . . "People look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart" (1 Samuel 16: 7).
Jesus weeps over the city - picture him weeping over your home, our town, our land, our world. What are the things that make him weep?
Respond to his tears from your heart.
Loving God, thank you for forgiveness so rich that you erase my sins and make me clean. If you, who know all about me, will not remember my sins against me, I am then able to forgive myself. Thank you for this wonderful promise.
Help me to forgive those who have sinned against me.
Forgive the sins of our nation. Teach us to forgive one another.
Bring healing and reconciliation to our land.
We pray for a Christ healed Africa for the healing of the nations.
Show me my role in that healing process and help me to play that role effectively and lovingly.
I will forgive their sins and I will no longer remember their wrongs. I, the Lord, have spoken (Jeremiah 31: 34)
Picture Jesus stretching out his arms to embrace. What does he want to embrace?
Respond to his embrace from your heart.
Jesus, lover of my soul . . . I cannot imagine the pain you endured as you stretched out your arms in love on the cross. I cannot comprehend the love that such pain required. But, I can worship you, and I can praise you . . . and I do . . .
The greatest love a person can have for another is to give his life for them (John 15: 13).
Thank you, God, for freeing us from the greatest captor. You released us from sin and death, and you set us free to love. There is no greater cause for celebration.
You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8: 32)
With all my strength, I praise you.
With all my life, I serve you.
With all my heart, I love you.
In closing, you may wish to embrace and pray these words from a hymn written by Charles Wesley:
Would Jesus have the sinner die?
Why hangs he then on yonder tree?
What means that strange expiring cry?
Sinners, he prays for you and me:
Forgive them, Father, O forgive!
They know not that by me they live.
Thou loving, all-atoning Lamb,
Thee - by thy painful agony,
Thy sweat of blood, thy grief and shame
Thy cross and passion on the tree
Thy precious death and life - I pray:
Take all, take all my sins away!
O let me kiss thy bleeding feet,
And bathe and wash them with my tears;
The story of thy love repeat
In every drooping sinners ears;
That all may hear the quickening sound,
Since I, even I, have mercy found.
O let thy love my heart control,
Thy love for every sinner free,
That every fallen human soul
May taste the grace that found out me;
That all the world with me may prove
Thy sovereign everlasting love!