Heavenly Father,

When I was a little girl, I couldn’t understand why in the world anyone would call the day Jesus was beaten and died on a cross as “Good Friday.” It seemed awful to me. I also couldn’t figure out why songs were sung about loving the rugged cross or the beauty of the cross. As I have traveled through life, I have discovered just how GOOD it really is—not the cross itself, but what Jesus did on the cross. Now I can sing “never did such sorrow and love flow mingled down” while my own sorrow and love flow mingled together in tears of gratitude for the greatest gift of love ever given. It was Your perfect plan to send Your Son Jesus to die and rise again ever since the very first sin was committed.

Though Jesus was with You as all things were created, You sent Him to be born as a simple human man to walk and live among us. His teachings and miracles were world-changing—yet that was not His true purpose. Even though He is holy and pure, and reigns high with You, His purpose from the very beginning was to willingly take on not only the whole world’s sin—but my personal sins. The Prince of peace, Lord of lords, Son of the Most High came when the time was right to carry the sins of all the people of all time upon Himself (though He was completely unblemished by sin) and take all that guilt and shame to the cross. Your Son paid the price (which is death) for our sin. No one killed Him. He willingly gave His life for us all—for me!

He knew His death and resurrection would open the way for anyone who accepts, confesses and believes that He is Your Son. He came to save us so we can have eternal life with You. How grateful I am that You love us so much that You sent Jesus. There is no other way to be forgiven, cleansed, holy. There is no other way to have eternal life with You. He is the way, the truth and the life. He gave us eternal life through His death on our behalf. He rose again so we could live forever with You—starting now! There is no better Friday. The moment Jesus died on that cross, His mission was completed, finished! What looked like the end was the beginning. Today we honor Your love for us through the amazing gift of Jesus’ death on the cross for us. It is not just Good Friday—it is the perfect Friday! All we have to do is believe and accept what has already been done for us on that beautiful cross.

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“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

 

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Romans 3:23

 

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-18

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, thank You for sending Jesus to die for my sins. I believe…

Heavenly Father,

Last night I woke up several times during the night. It was like You were knocking at my door wanting to be invited in. Please come in! I want to spend this time with You and You with me! You promised that if we seek You, we will find You. I started out this holy season seeking more of You. At the start of each Easter season (or Resurrection season) I always ask You to show me more of what You gave us when You gave us Jesus Christ. You always do! It seems if I ask You that for all eternity, You will still be showing me more—because there is no end to Your love.

This year, it seems You stand knocking at my door. I’m sorry to say I don’t always let You in. Sometimes I’m too busy to answer, or too preoccupied with things of this world, or too wrapped up in the latest challenge. Yet You still stand there knocking. You don’t barge in to dine with me. You don’t come where You are not invited, although You have all power and authority to do so. You wait for me to hear Your voice, to answer You and let You in. I think I am pursuing You, but You are always pursuing me first.

To get in the door to see an earthly king or president, I would have to go through all kinds of hoops just to get an invitation for a very short specific time (and I probably would never get that!) But You are God! You have all power and authority over all there is, yet You humble Yourself to send Jesus to knock on my door to ask to come in. You asked Jesus to take my punishment for my sin with horrendous beatings and to die on the cross so I could be free and holy. You sent Jesus to die for me so I can live with You forever! And yet, how often do I choose to live life apart from You? I settle for earthly pleasures when I can choose to have eternal company with You. Yes, Lord, today I open the door. Please come in and dine with me… and I with You.

 

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“I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”   Revelation 3:20

“This is love: not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  1 John 4:10

“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord, let me be still enough to hear Your knocking…

My Lord and my God,

This season of the year is like a special get-away I love to take with You—like my husband and I sometimes need. We get so busy with all our daily responsibilities and activities that we live together and know one another better than anyone else; yet sometimes we need to purposely take some time alone together to purposely reconnect to fan the flames of our love. There are times my husband and I come back from a “get away date” and we realize once again just how glad we are that we share life together. Our love has been refreshed and renewed because we took time to put away distractions and simply enjoy what we have in one another.

 

Lord, obviously You do not need to fan the flames of Your love—but I sure do! I’m sad to say that I far too often take Your amazing immeasurable love for granted. Your love is unshakable, faithful, never-waning or lacking in any way. Your love is pure and unchanging. I know You are always here with me. I know You will never ever leave me or forsake me. There is no doubt that You are always involved in my life in ways far beyond my comprehension. On the other hand, my love gets side-tracked and distracted far too easily by things that sometimes seem important but when I stop to truly think about it—are so silly and fleeting. That’s why I need to fully take time to honor and appreciate the love You have given me—especially when You gave Jesus Christ to be a sacrifice for my unfaithfulness; when You sent Jesus to die for my sin and then raised Him victorious to give me eternal life with You that can never be shaken or taken away.

 

I want to purposely honor and cherish the eternal commitment You have given to me during this holy season leading up to Jesus’ suffering, death, burial, resurrection and ascension. Yes, Lord, I have received and accepted Your love sent to me through Jesus Christ and I have been given more than I could possibly imagine or hope for. That’s why I want to spend extra time with You to renew my love for You, to recall why I am more alive than ever because of my eternal life with You, to surrender and recommit my love for You because of Your great love for me. During this holy week from Palm Sunday to Good Friday to (Easter) Resurrection Day, help me cut out some distractions, set aside more alone time with You, read (in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) of Your greatest gift of love of Jesus’ life poured out for us, and sing of Your love that came to seek and save me!  Let me honor the anniversary of Your great love poured out by pouring some love back to You! Hosanna to my first love! Halleluiah to the One who loves me enough to die so I can live forever with You! I love You, Lord.

*******

 

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in His shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

 

*The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

 

“”I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”  Revelation 3:20

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord God, here are some ways I want to honor You during this special time…

Heavenly Father,

There are times I realize how incredibly busy I am! There is always a lot going on in my life and in the lives of those around me. There are times when I almost panic wondering how I keep up with my schedule- then I remember that it is Your schedule. And a peace comes over me that allows me to just relax and trust that You hold time (and me) in Your hands. Whatever calendar, to-do-list, or schedule I might happen to make is only a draft until Your perfect plans take priority. I love being on Your schedule, Lord! It takes the pressure off me and it’s always exciting to see what You have in store each day.

I happen to have a job with a paycheck where my schedule is flexible. My days and hours are different every week. On the days I go to work as an early childhood teacher, I am handed a written daily schedule which could place me in a different room each day, or a different room each hour or even change throughout the day. My job is to be flexible. It is my job, and I love being available to serve where needed. I love being on call for You, Lord. It is quite an adventure to watch where You send me, who You place me with, and Your perfect timing in action. It takes a lot of pressure off me to realize I couldn’t possibly set all the things in motion that You do. You know exactly where You want me so I am always learning to submit and simply enjoy Your scheduling.

Besides that, You know exactly what You want me to accomplish (or in some cases—not accomplish) in each 24-hour day. In my little mind, I will try to squeeze way too much in and will end up stressed and annoyed because I didn’t get what I thought was important done. Father, it seems the most important thing I can schedule is time to be still with You. That’s when I recall who is really in charge and who knows exactly what needs to happen on this particular day. That’s when I can re-surrender myself to You and make myself available for Your scheduling. When I do it, I love my job with You! I can simply enjoy every moment—trusting You have me right where You need me for that moment.  What an adventure to follow Your schedule, Lord!

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“As God’s fellow workers, we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For He says, ‘In the time of My favor I heard you, and in the time of My salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”  2 Corinthians 6:1-2

 

“But I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hands…”  Psalm 31:14-15a

 

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’  And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”   Isaiah 6:8

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord, show me where You want me…

Most Glorious Heavenly Father,

There are already many preparations going on for Easter. I see colored eggs, candy, bunnies and pretty dresses in every store I walk in. I often wonder how many people honestly think that’s all Easter is about. I am around a lot of children and some adults who have no idea this is the time Jesus came to give His life on the cross for our sins so we can have eternal life with You. That’s why I want to prepare for this special time. Since I have eternal life and realize (with my limited human understanding) what You gave when You gave Your Son, I want to set aside this time to thank You—to honor what You did for us through Jesus. I want to prepare myself to praise You with all my heart, mind and soul for Jesus’ death and resurrection.

This time of the year should not just go by without a deepening appreciation for the greatest gift You have ever lavished upon us. Lord, as I refocus on Jesus’ sacrifice for us, will You show me a little bit more of what You gave when You gave Your Son. I realize I will probably never comprehend the depth or the full measure of Your gift of Jesus…yet I am always finding more to this eternal life You gave us through Jesus. Lord, in preparation for this season, I may give something up that distracts me because I want more of You. As I purposely set out to honor what Jesus has done for us, let me sing more songs of Your mercies, read more of Your word, watch a movie about Jesus, spend more quiet time with You. I want to set aside this time and the gift You’ve given. I want to honor You by making it a holy season—because it is!

As You fill me up with Your presence, prepare me so I can be ready to share Jesus with others during this holy time. I know not everyone is ready to accept and believe what You gave us in Jesus Christ, but how will they know unless someone tells them? Father, use me somehow to tell others that You sent Jesus to die for our sins so we can have eternal life. That’s what makes Easter holy—because you sent Jesus to die on the cross and rise again so we could be holy!

 

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“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy because I am holy.’” 1 Peter 1:13-15

“We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”  Hebrews 10:10

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”  John 3:16-17

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord, the first preparation is to believe You sent Jesus to die for my sins. Am I prepared to receive what only Jesus can give?

Most Holy Lord God,

How I praise You for being the highest authority there is! There are three different situations in front of me today where “officials” have been called in to determine outcomes. On the outside, it can be very scary to have someone else make such critical decisions over people I care so deeply about. One concerns a great grandson who could be forced by the court to be in an unsafe setting. Another of those situations is about a young neighbor I used to care for as a child who just became a ward of the state due to mental illness. The third situation is about a little boy whose care is being investigated when I have seen a whole team of people go far above and beyond to help him. It is impossible to trust earthly authorities make the right decisions concerning these young people I love so much.

However, when I recall that You reign above all courts, governments, agencies, and nations, I can rest in my trust in who You are. As I remember that my love for these three is simply a poor reflection of Your unending, staggering, lavish love for them, I can truly put their care in Your hands. You never make a mistake. You can help them in far better ways than I or anyone else can. In fact, even though earthly authorities sometimes mess up and make a wrong decision, You can take that mistake and turn it into something glorious. I look forward to seeing how You will work through this. I can trust You, Lord.

Lord, today I place all three of these loved ones in Your care. I trust that You will make far greater things happen than I could ever dream of or imagine. No matter what things look like right now, I trust the outcome to You. I trust the ones I love to the One who loves them more. I absolutely know You are at work on their behalf and even in the lives of all those involved- including any earthly authorities. Thank You, Lord.

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“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.’” Matthew 28:18

“”For by Him (Jesus) all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”  Colossians 1:16-17

“’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord.’As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.’”  Isaiah 55:8-9

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord, show me what I need to trust to Your authority…