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2 Words to Pray During Holy Week (Or Anytime)

A simple prayer, easily remembered and repeated.
Holy Week prayer
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The holiest week of the year for Christians is upon us, as we remember the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and prayerfully walk the path of His suffering, death and resurrection for our sake.

It is, appropriately, a solemn time, but it should also be a season that fills our hearts and lives with a grateful grasp of our “great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3). So, what could be more fitting than to pray our way through this week? But what should we pray? I have a suggestion. It’s a simple prayer, easily remembered and repeated—just two words—but it’s one of the richest and most effective prayers we can pray.

It’s the prayer that reached out to Jesus while He was hanging on the cross, in the last moments of His earthly life. One of the thieves that were crucified on either side of Him uttered the eleventh-hour request, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42 NIV).

“Remember me.” That’s the prayer. And it worked. Jesus assured the man that he would end that day in the paradise of Jesus’ presence.

“Remember me.” Simple enough. But there’s so much more to those two words than memory. To the ancient Hebrew mind, remembering was no mere mental recall; it meant turning your attention to someone and acting forcefully and effectively on that person’s behalf.

When the Bible says, “God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark,” it doesn’t mean God had forgotten about Noah and his ark and then suddenly thought of him; it means, “he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded” (Genesis 8:1 NIV).

When the Bible says, “When God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham,” it’s not saying that God slapped His forehead, thinking, “Now, where is that Abraham guy?” No, it’s saying that he brought Abraham’s nephew Lot “out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived” (Genesis 19:29 NIV).

When the Bible says, “God remembered Rachel,” it refers to the fact that “he listened to her and enabled her to conceive” (Genesis 30:22 NIV).

When we pray, “Remember me,” we’re asking God to do for us as He did for Noah, Abraham, Rachel—and the thief on the cross. We’re asking God to turn His face toward us, to bless us and keep us. We’re asking Him to act on our behalf and on behalf of those we hold dear. We’re asking for His help. For strength. For peace. For mercy and grace.

All this—and more—in just two words: “Remember me.” Make that your Holy Week prayer. Let it lead you all the way to resurrection joy.

 

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