God of love, God of compassion,
in the midst of death and evil,
you mercifully look after us:
protecting, providing and smiling,
constantly reassuring us of your care.
Grant to us the joy of this occasion,
especially as we celebrate the resurrection,
knowing that your love is life.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may acquire a heart of wisdom,
through the one whose life has become our light, even Jesus Christ.
(Rev. Dr Augustine Musopole, Malawi. In: Africa Praying: A Handbook on HIV/AIDS Sensitive Sermon Guidelines and Liturgy, ed. Musa W. Dube, WCC, 2003, modified for Easter)
Read John 20:1-10
Prayer can mean many things to different Christians. For some, prayer is God’s gift of sustaining presence through the Holy Spirit. For others, prayer is our human response to God’s call to be messengers of bring God’s kingdom of peace through Christ. Prayer can also be a celebration of God’s grace and hope, as we celebrate through the spirit of the resurrection day.
Sybil MacBeth describes intercessory prayer in the following way, “When I ask people to pray for me, their task is to fill the universe with good thoughts, to wrap me in God’s love, to give me hope, and to intercede for my healing. I want them to reconnect my hands and heart with God’s when I’m too fraught with fear or sadness to do it by myself.” Jesus intercedes for us and Jesus shares in our suffering.
As an Easter people, our prayers give us hope to overcome any brokenness. To lift our voices in prayer during this resurrection season is to reclaim the newness of our faith and renewal of our life. Through the resurrection we are reconnected with God’s heart and mind. Like the women who went to the tomb early in the morning and encountered God’s messengers who calmed their fear, may we also encounter God’s message of peace and hope that transforms our fear and wondering into celebration, celebrating that our Savior Jesus the Christ is Risen! To live as an Easter people is to be on the journey of renewal emotionally, spiritually and mentally.
What is becoming new in your life this Easter? What is Christ renewing in your spiritual journey this resurrection season? What could others lift up in prayer to connect your hands and heart with God’s?