40 Hours of Prayer
Prepare your heart leading to the resurrection. These 7 stations of prayer are meant to follow the last 40 hours of Jesus’ life. Each station will give you a reflection and response.
Follow each station every day or one station a day.
Consider being in a quiet place, also take a moment to cleanse your hands, to symbolically free your mind of all distractions.
The disciples were celebrating the Passover with Jesus. When the hour came, they reclined around a table and drank from the cup and ate of the bread. Afterward, a dispute arose among them when Jesus told them one would betray him. They began to argue who is the greatest among them. In….
REFLECTION AND RESPONSE
Luke 22:26,27 Jesus says “…the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.”
Take a cup and wafer. Jesus said, “ this is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me”. Likewise, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you”. Eat, drink, and pray as you remember the sacrifice. We must daily choose to empty ourselves and be filled with His presence so that we too can pour ourselves out to serve the community God has given us! Greater is the one!
The Garden of Gethsemane
Luke chapter 22 tells us that Jesus went to the garden at the Mount of Olives to pray “as usual”. While there Jesus tells his disciples to “pray that you will not fall into temptation”. Later, however, He finds them asleep and says to them “ Get up and pray..” (Luke 22:46)
Sometimes we “fall asleep” in our prayer life. Possibly putting it on our “to-do” list that, quite frankly, we almost never get done. I love though, the thought of Jesus in prayer “as usual”… Always connected in prayer to his father, the Father. As Christians, our prayer time, our time alone with our heavenly father, should not just be a priority in our life. It should BE our life. Every action and reaction should be filtered through Christ. Pray now about your temptation to “prioritize” Christ in your life, and surrender your calendar. Take a slip of paper and write down a prayer request that you have and pray for it intentionally. Take another slip out and write a request from someone else and pray intentionally! We need to stop falling asleep and “Get up and pray”!
Jesus on Trial
Jesus was arrested after Judas’ kiss betrayed him, on the accusation of leading a rebellion. Mark 14:53 says “ They took Jesus to the high priest…” and in verse 55 it goes on to tell us “…the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any.
REFLECTION AND RESPONSE
Many testified falsely, but their statements did not agree.” Jesus remained silent until the high priest asked him in verse 61 “are you the Christ?” Jesus replied, “I am”. They did not want to punish him to death considering there was not enough evidence. However, as a custom during the Feast, they would allow the release of one prisoner, so they let the public decide between him and a criminal named Barabbas. The crowd chose to release the criminal, shouting to crucify Jesus. So Pilot did.
Pray for our local judicial system, who make so many crucial decisions for our community every day. Then pray about the different characteristics of this story that we portray or have the opportunity to at some point in our lives. First, pray about betrayal. At some time, have we been like Judas and betrayed Christ through action or lack of? When have we been the crowd, failing to give others the benefit of doubt and passing judgment too quickly? What about a time when you were the victim… and others treated you unfairly. How did you react to that? If we will/have surrendered all to Christ, we too can be SET FREE in Christ. Like Barabbas, we are set free even in our sin and shame! In our prayer time now, we thank you, Jesus, for showing us your grace and mercy every day… please show us how to give this as well as we receive it!
Peter Denies Jesus
Before Jesus was put to trial, Peter was warned that he would deny knowing him. In John 13:37 Peter told Jesus “I will lay down my life for you” but Jesus replied “ Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times”. While Jesus was on trial, we saw this while Peter withdrew and hid in the back near the guards around the campfire so that he could stay warm.
Will we choose to live a comfortable, easy, never offensive life… Never speaking the name of Jesus to simply avoid conflict? We could…. or, will we choose to lay our own life (comfort, desires, calendars, etc) down in order to bring glory to the one who gave his entire life for us? In John 13:34 Jesus commands us to “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” Pray now that we can choose daily to lay down our lives for the cause of Christ.
Jesus was taken to the place where they would execute him beside criminals. In Luke 23:34 Jesus pleads “Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” The people stood there, watching and mocking him while he was crucified on the cross.
Today, the same can be true. People will still be found standing and watching, mocking Christians around them. Some Christians will even be put to death for their faith. Jesus gives hope to the believer by saying (in verse 43) “ I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise!” Pray for the persecuted Christians to keep their minds focused on Christ. Pray also for the ones standing and mocking, the persecutors. Pray that their hearts will be softened to hear the truth about freedom in Christ! Pray about how you would/will react when someone confronts you about your faith.
A detailed medical look at what Jesus endured during his death.
In John 19 we see two very distinguished men coming to prepare Jesus’ body with incredible care, with very expensive spices, for burial. In verse 40 it tells us that “ they wrapped it ( his body), with the spices, in strips of linen”. This took delicate care and much time. They placed his body in a brand new tomb that was located in a garden near the site of the crucifixion.
Write the initials of someone who recently, or in the past, has taken the time to delicately prepare you for your walk with Christ. Spend time in prayer thanking God for caring enough to send someone handpicked just for you, and pray that the Holy Spirit will lead you to others that you now can do the same for!
Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. She found Peter and another disciple and they ran back to the tomb together. John 20:6,7 lets us know that Peter “ arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head.”
Jesus has conquered death! His death, burial, and resurrection have resurrected us from our sins! He alone has given us a way to have a relationship with the Father! Our sins are now covered by the blood that he poured out for us on the cross. The old law has been fulfilled, and a new covenant has been born! We are no longer a slave to sin, but a child of God! Pray now that you can let go of the weight of your sin and brokenness. Lay your burdens down. Write your sin/struggle on a piece of paper… Now cover it up with the symbol of the fish. By his wounds, we are healed and we are free. It is finished!
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