A Prayer Prompted by Luke 1:1-4

Heavenly Father,

We have repeatedly asked you to teach us from your word and we are asking that again right now. We want to be certain of the things we have been taught.

We pray that you would take the words of this Gospel of Luke and write them upon our hearts. We want to know Jesus better, love him more and serve him more faithfully than ever.

In so doing we want to increase our love for you.

Make us lovers of God in the truest and deepest sense.

In Christ,

Amen.

A Prayer Prompted by Mark 16

Dear Heavenly Father

We thank you for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This event shows us that he was more than an ordinary man.

We believe and rejoice in the fact that he died for our sins. We accept the fact that he rose and then ascended into heaven. We are grateful for his present intercession for us and look forward to his soon return.

We offer up our prayers to you in his name,

Amen.

A Prayer Prompted by God’s Gift of His Son

Heavenly Father,

You have given us more than we could ever repay.  You have put us eternally in your debt by sending your Son Jesus to live a real human life and to die a very human death for our sins.

We thank you for his humility, and the fact that he would be born as any normal human child and grow up through his teen years into adulthood like any other human being.

And we thank you for your salvation.

As the psalmist asks, what can we give you for all these benefits that you have given us?

We will receive the gift, receive your salvation and receive the free gift of eternal life.

Help us to live that life that we live completely for you, beginning now but lasting forever.

In Christ,

Amen.

 

A Prayer Prompted by Mark 15:22-41

Dear Lord Jesus,

You said during the time of your ministry, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Little did your disciples know at the time how that would happen or how it would look.

Now, having been accused, tried and sentenced, we see what you went through for us.  The humiliation, the pain and the suffering were all to pay the price for our sins.  You paid this ransom so that we could walk free.

You refused to come down from the cross.  You endured the abandonment of your disciples, which was tragic, but also of the very Father who sent you, at your greatest moment of need.  Such grief is thankfully beyond our experience. 

How fitting that those who passed by derided you, illustrating how badly we all needed the work your were completing at that moment.  How perfect also was the darkness that descended, dimming the view of the worst of your suffering from those present, and likewise from the rest of us who would read of it later,  And you died among thieves, like the worst of common criminals.

All of this you did for us.  We thank you for bearing our sin.  We thank you for paying the price for our salvation.  We thank you for the humility you expressed so that we might be glorified with you someday, and will know that glorified state for all eternity.

This is how we know what love is.

Thank you Jesus.

Amen.

Mark 14 Verse by Verse

Photo for Mark edited

Christ is getting closer to the cross. This chapter will highlight a woman’s sacrifice, Peter’s failure and Christ’s obedience.

Mark 14.pdf

Mark 14.mp3

A Prayer Prompted by Mark 14

Dear Father in heaven,

What can we ever say or do to thank you for your great love for us? In truth, we can never repay you, and can never match Christ’s sacrifice, which was offered for our sins.

The best we can do is give you our lives, our abilities and our possessions and ask you to use us to accomplish your will.

Help us to express complete obedience to you without relying on ourselves.

Like the woman in the story of the fragrant ointment, help us to offer you all that we have.

Like Jesus in the garden, help us to see that your will for us is better than our own will, whatever that may be.

Help us to live our the words, “Thy will be done.”

In Christ our Lord,

Amen.

 

Gethsemane – Mark 14:32-42

The battle Christ won on the cross was, in a way, first won in the garden.  It was there Christ obediently determined to follow through with his plan in complete submission to his Father’s will.  After Gethsemane there would be no turning back.

32 And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34 And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” 35 And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. 41 And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

Christ knew exactly what was coming.  Going to the cross would be horrible, but many had done this before.  Two others, in fact, were crucified the same day with Jesus.  What made Christ’s death any different?

The difference was in his carrying the weight of our sin. 

It is impossible to know what that is like, but we can imagine at least a little.  It might feel a lot like guilt.  For example, sometimes we get into trouble and, while our circumstances annoy us, the thing that truly tortures us is knowing that it is our own fault.  How much better would everything be if this had all been avoided?  Sometimes we do something wrong and have no one to blame but ourselves.  Knowing that the consequences are of our own making makes them worse.  

Now let’s think further.  It is bad enough dealing with the consequences of our own sin.  That much guilt is usually enough for any of us.  What if we had to bear the sins of the world on our shoulders while dying that slow, painful death?

By all available accounts, Christ’s time on the cross was less than many who died in that same manner.  Sometimes it took a few days for the crucified victim to expire.  Christ died in a matter of hours.  But no one before or since has had to bear more than their own sin.  The physical torture was bad enough, but the psychological and spiritual anguish was much, much worse.  Yet Christ was determined to walk it through to the end.  And he did that out of love for us.

It was there in Gethsemane that the prayer, “Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will,” was answered.  It was answered when the Father simply said no.  Jesus was okay with that.  He understood what was necessary for us to be saved.  He knew the cross was only the first step toward resurrection.  He knew that if he shared in our death, and shared in our sin, we would share in his life forever more.