Monday of Holy Week – Prayer of the Week

Almighty and everlasting God, You sent Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, to take upon Himself our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross. Mercifully grant that we may follow the example of His great humility and patience and be made partakers of His resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

My mother used to admonish us to be a little careful what we prayed for. We might get it. In February of his senior year, my son was studying hard for his AP exams. He eagerly watched the weather reports of a threatening storm system which could bring snow. In Portland even an inch or two of snow paralyzes the city and they call off school. The storm skirted north of us, and we only got rain. Portland never cancels school for rain. My son turned his eyes upward and prayed, “God, I could really use a couple days off from school.” That was late February 2020. Two weeks later his school and almost every other school in the nation shut down for the rest of the year. He got his prayer answered.

We pray in this prayer that God would mercifully give us to follow Jesus’ example of humility and patience so we can partake in the resurrection. Think about that for a moment in Holy Week. Jesus will demonstrate his humility and patience at his trial, scourging, crucifixion, and death. We are praying for an opportunity to partake in resurrection. Only dead people get resurrected. You know that, right? Do you really want to follow Jesus’ example of humility and patience? That sounds pretty painful.

I do not truly think that the COVID pandemic is a result of God answering my son’s prayer to get a couple of days off from school. But what if God gave us what we ask for here? Humility and patience are virtues which are forged in suffering and trials. Resurrection is what God does to corpses. As we come into this Holy Week, this prayer urges us to remember that this is not a TV show we watch through a screen, or some events separated by time and distance. Jesus is living our lives, and he is dying our death. Our only hope is to be joined to him. We do not get to pick our connection to Christ. We do not automatically plug into the Christ of powerful miracles and massive crowds. We all join him in this cross and in His dying. We pray today for the requisite patience and humility which he showed, and which we need. God answers prayers. Pray this one with confidence and perhaps a little trepidation.

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