Good Friday Prayer Guide

A Holy Place

An altar, a pew, a seat on the bus, a kitchen table:

all become holy places when we confess before God.

Today, in this holy place,

God meets us, hears us, and forgives us.

In this holy place,

God empowers us with genuine love

to share with a hurting world.

Be for God, a holy loving people.

— Kwasi I. Kena

Prayer Guide

As Christians, we are called to be people who place our hope in the promise of resurrection and new life. This hope though, by no means negates the fact that we are vulnerable to pain, suffering, darkness and death.

On Good Friday 2021, we look to the cross and remember the supreme sacrifice of, as John’s gospel describes, the Word becoming flesh and making his dwelling among us (John 1). God has come to us fully in the person of Jesus Christ and has shown us through his life and teachings what it means to be in right relationship with God and one another. But through Good Friday we know that God has fully redeemed us — in both life and death.

We call this Friday “Good” because it teaches us that Jesus understands the feelings of despair and betrayal. Jesus knows what it means to suffer. Jesus even knows the experience of death itself.

Yet in spite of so much that’s bad about this day, there is hope and the promise in that when we walk through difficulty, despair, suffering or even death, we will never be alone. Good Friday forever solidifies that God has been, is now, and always will be with us. God is walking beside us and will never leave us.

Good Friday means we will face no difficulty, suffering or death that God has not faced; therefore we know that God has already redeemed our pain and promises to see us through. So in our lives, when we experience our own Good Fridays, we look to God for comfort and hope with confidence that God knows and hears our prayer.

As you prepare to pray, find a quiet place and spend a few minutes in silence. Put away the concerns and noise of the day. Listen to the Holy Spirit and feel God’s presence with you. Some will want to pray as they feel led to do so. For others who would benefit from guided structure, we recommend a five-fold pattern of prayer:

  • Praise: Express your love for and praise to God.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank God for the many blessings in your life.
  • Confession: Confess your sins and ask God’s forgiveness.
  • Petition: Ask for God’s help, healing and blessings for others and yourself.
  • Yielding: Offer yourself to God and invite God to use you in his mission.

As you pray, feel free to pray for yourself and the member names you have been provided by either praying on your own or by using the prayer prompts below.

Lord, Hear My Prayer…

FOR OUR CHURCH FAMILY

If you received a list of church names to pray for, please use the list to pray for each one by name with these prompts below. 

  • Offer thanksgiving for the life of each person.
  • Ask God to bless, surround and strengthen them.
  • Pray that they will continue to grow in their faith and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Lord, bless our church and all the people in it, renewing and energizing us as we work to form a community of deeply committed Christians.

FOR THOSE IN OUR COMMUNITY WHO ARE SUFFERING

Pray that God will specifically bring:

  • Healing to those who are sick.
  • Comfort to those who have lost loved ones and friends.
  • Hope and opportunities to those who are unemployed or facing economic difficulties.
  • Peace to those who are feeling lonely and isolated.

Loving God, open my eyes to see those who suffer and are in trouble; guide my heart and hands that I might bring them hope and healing in your name. Help me to live in a way that brings hope and peace to those who are hurting, afraid or suffering.

FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS, FIRST RESPONDERS, TEACHERS, GROCERS AND ALL OTHERS WHO CONTINUE TO PERFORM THEIR JOBS UNDER CHALLENGING SITUATIONS

Picture the heroes who are performing in extraordinary ways and then pray:

  • Express gratitude for these selfless servants.
  • Ask God to surround them with strength and protection as they put themselves at risk to care for others.
  • Ask God to continue to bring healing and support through them.
  • Ask God to bring comfort and strength to their families and those who love them.

Lord God, thank you for these selfless servants who are giving themselves to our community, nation and world. Bless them, protect them, encourage them with your loving presence and give them peace.

FOR THOSE WORSHIPPING WITH US THIS EASTER

Many will return to in person worship for the first time this Easter. Others will continue to worship from home in an effort to stay safe. We will have many guests on site and through our livestream. Please pray that they will:

  • Sense God’s love for them.
  • Feel God’s grace, forgiveness and life extended to them.
  • Accept God’s invitation to know His peace and come to embrace and live daily following after Jesus.
  • Personally experience the hope-filled promise of Easter.

Gracious God, we commit our Easter worship to you. From our sanctuary, activity center, every living room and kitchen table, you know the name of each person who will be joining worship this weekend. You know every hurt, struggle and place of brokenness. I pray you will use this Easter worship experience to convey your unconditional, sacrificial love. Push away the darkness and fill all who come to worship with the light and the hope of the resurrection. In the name of Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life, AMEN.

Hymns

These songs can be sung, played or prayed to remind us of God’s love and grace.

What Wondrous Love is This? (UMH #292)

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul

what wondrous love is this, O my soul!

What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss

to bear the dreadful curse for my soul,

for my soul, to bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

Beautiful Things (by Gungor)

All this pain, I wonder if I’ll ever find my way

I wonder if my life could really change at all

All this earth

Could all that is lost ever be found

Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of the dust

You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of us

All around

Hope is springing up from this old ground

Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of the dust

You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of us