A Prayer for Palm Sunday: Hosanna in the Highest!

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” ~ Zechariah 9:9

Palm Sunday was the fulfillment of the prophecy given in Zecheriah 9, foretelling that the king and savior would come mounted on a donkey, just as Christ triumphantly entered Jerusalem. Palm Sunday is meaningful because it indicates the beginning of Holy Week, the day when Jesus began His journey to the cross.

Let celebrate Palm Sunday as the crowds that greeted Christ that day, saying “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” 

Use this Palm Sunday prayer to rejoice in the salvation offered to us through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, voluntarily giving His life to redeem us from sin. Because of Christ’s everlasting victory, we too are more than conquerors and set free through Him. Glory to the Lord and His eternal love!

A Palm Sunday Prayer

O Lord Jesus Christ,
when you entered Jerusalem,
great crowds waved palm branches and cried “Hosanna.”

Save us now from our sins,
and make us to rejoice in you,
our only Redeemer;

through your mercy, O our God,
you are blessed,
and live and govern all things,
now and forever. Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Mozarabic Collects

Palm Sunday Morning Prayer

 Father God, Your Word is true, and You are faithful. You promised salvation through the Messiah and today we remember that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of our promised Redeemer. We acknowledge our need for salvation from our sins and rejoice that Jesus is our Deliverer. We celebrate Him today as King and ask that His Kingdom come in our lives, too. We praise You now and will praise You throughout the coming day, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Palm Sunday Evening Prayer

Father God, thank You that Jesus came humbly, riding on a donkey, proclaiming peace. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for peace in our times. Make us instruments of your peace and guide us in the ministry of reconciliation. Our hearts bring loved ones to mind who have yet to acknowledge Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for their own sins. May they find peace in You as we have, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Source: Holy Week Prayers, Lori Stanley Roeleveld

Watch this amazing Palm Sunday prayer from iBelieve

Prayer for Holy Week

O Father, most merciful,
in the beginning you created us,
and by the passion of your only Son
you created us anew.

Work in us now, both to will and to do what pleases you.
Since we are weak and can do no good thing by ourselves,
grant us your grace and heavenly blessing,
that in whatever work we engage
we may do all to your honor and glory.

Keep us from sin
and empower us daily to do good works,
that as long as we live in the body
we may always perform service to you.

After our departure give us pardon of all our sins,
and receive us to eternal life;
through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
forever and ever. Amen.

Source: St. Anselm, 11th century

Palm Sunday Bible Reading

The Triumphal Entry – John 12:12-19

The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”

Matthew 21:8-11

Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

What Is Palm Sunday?

“Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter that begins the Holy Week. It is the day that we remember and celebrate the day Jesus entered into Jerusalem as Savior and King. As Jesus rode a donkey into the town of Jerusalem a large crowd gathered and laid palm branches and their cloaks across the road, giving Jesus royal treatment. The hundreds of people shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Palm Sunday is a moveable holiday meaning its date changes each year based on Lent and the spring equinox. Many churches celebrate Palm Sunday with the waving of palm branches, singing traditional hymns, and making crosses out of palm fronds. But while this is a triumphal entry, it is Jesus’ first step toward His death.” —Debbie McDaniel

Palm Sunday always falls on the Sunday before Resurrection Sunday, or Easter Sunday. On this day, we remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. That the crowds cheered for Jesus and cried out “Hosanna!” We must not also forget the political reasons that people did this. In some ways, they’d reached the end of their rope. They wanted to know if Jesus would topple Rome now, or never. And if never, then they would want him out of the picture. Of course, the religious leaders played a big role in this spurring on the people, but the Hosanna shouldn’t be seen as something of praise. But rather, exasperation.

How Do We Celebrate Palm Sunday?

“So how do Christians celebrate this holiday? It depends on which church you attend. Not every church will do something in particular for this day on the church calendar. Some may do as little as putting up a few decorative palm branches or dedicating a sermon to discussing Jesus’ triumphal entry.

Others may have children wave palm branches down the aisles, sometimes singing a song that has the word “Hosanna!” the same phrase used by the Israelite people when Jesus entered Jerusalem.

Many of us, this year, also find ourselves at home watching Livestream services, to limit our exposure thanks to COVID-19. This Crosswalk article has some great ideas for how to celebrate Palm Sunday at home.” —Bible Study Tools Staff

There is no one specific way to celebrate Palm Sunday. Many churches will use palm branches in some way. Sometimes they will have children lay them down in the aisles. In other instances, they will use them as a mere decoration. But often churches will do something on this holiday. At the very least, they will mention Palm Sunday and probably have a sermon point or two about it.

Why Does This Matter?

Christians should know about Palm Sunday for a number of reasons.

We should analyze how we see Jesus. Do we see him as a conqueror who will topple the inconveniences in our lives, as Israel had? Or do we recognize that he has come to defeat a far greater enemy: sin.

Palm Sunday also shows us that people may praise Jesus outwardly, but not everyone who calls on the name of the Lord believes in him. We see the crazy flip-flip of the people from praising Jesus one Sunday and crucifying him on the next Friday.

Photo credit: ©©GettyImages/didoi

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