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Spiritual Practices for Holy Week

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” Soren Kierkegaard

By Anthony Mullins, Church Planter, Durham, NC

I suspect Danish theologian and philosopher Soren Kierkegaard was on to something truthful with the above statement. Prayer forms the person who prays. It forms us by enabling us to share in the divine relationship of the Father with the Son in the Spirit. Communion with God through prayer helps us to apprehend what the Lord is up to in our lives. Based on Holy Scripture, one of the primary ways God is at work in our lives is to form the inner and outer life of the person and church community that prays. Said another way, the Father is conforming you and me and the community of faith into the very image of the Son (Romans 8:29).

Many of you reading this article have been life-long followers of Jesus. You know the immense worth of prayer because you have experienced the tender and persistent love of God at work in and through a vibrant life of prayer. Instead of beating the drum on the importance of prayer, I would like you to consider an ancient but fresh approach to prayer which has brought a new vitality to my life of intimacy with Father, Son and Spirit.

Lately, I have been praying through a liturgy of prayers written by saints in the Church throughout the ages. It’s a relatively new approach for me because I had thought praying the words someone else had written would be inauthentic, legalistic, and bereft of meaning. Was I mistaken! It’s been quite the opposite. Praying through a liturgy has been invigorating, insightful and the Lord has been forming me in the process.

For Holy Week, the week beginning with Palm Sunday and culminating with Easter Sunday, I have collected liturgical prayers and readings from several sources, linked below. May I suggest we pray and read the liturgy this coming Holy Week as a communal spiritual practice? One prayer and reading has been included for each day of Holy Week but take the liberty to pray all the prayers and read all the readings each day. Whatever approach works best for you.

Palm Sunday
Holy Monday
Holy Tuesday
Holy Wednesday
Maundy Thursday
Good Friday
Holy Saturday
Easter, Resurrection Sunday

May God the Father continue to do the good work of conforming us into the image of the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ!

2 thoughts on “Spiritual Practices for Holy Week”

  1. Anthony,
    You captured well the primary reason for praying. In addition, when we pray, we perform an act of obedience, as we are told by Jesus to do so. And, in some way, prayer is „effectually“, in some mysterious way, actually part of the process that God set in place to have them answered.

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