The Salvation of Zacchaeus (v1-10)
Praise: When you save a person, everyone benefits, for you turn us from sin and fill us with goodness. You loved this lost man: rich, dishonest, despised, yet you loved him. And your love changed him marvellously. Your wisdom is proven by its results: the world becomes a better place with every person who is born into your new life!
Thanks: When we consider the criminals, you have turn from crime, the wicked you’ve turned into saints, the self righteous you have turned into servants we are thankful for the blessing we all receive. Thank you that you also love me, and that your work in me will change me, and make me a blessing to others.
Confession: you are not finished with me yet – have mercy on me and on the world by completing the work you have begun in me, making me more effective and productive in sharing your love with the world.
Asking: The world could use some more conversions! Bless the wicked with the gift of repentance, set them free from their slavery to sin. When I see the wicked, keep me from wishing harm on them, instead let me pray for the blessing of Zacchaeus on them!
The Parable of the Talents (v11-26)
Praise: You have given gifts to all people – unique significance and a purpose for their lives. You provide every person with the capacity to make a difference through life in you. You have entrusted us with important service. Who are we that you put such trust in us? Who are you that you value each one of us so much?
Thanks: It seems proud to thank you for my talents, but you are the giver of all good gifts: help me treasure the skills and wisdom and character you are building in me! Make me even more appreciative of the talents you have given others! Keep me from jealousy – make my admiration pure!
Confession: there are many reasons for not using the gifts you give to produce good things in the world. But none of those reasons are good ones. Forgive my fear, laziness, resentment, selfishness, or any other attitude that keeps me from using my gifts for your glory. Lead me to glorify you in serving others as you command.
Asking: I pray for the broken people who feel useless and helpless. Restore them, and remind them that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. Add to my gifts the gift of encouragement, to always bless such people.
The Triumphal arrival at Jerusalem
Rejoicing: Every day you deserve the praise you received on Palm Sunday. Your Holy name should be praised at all times everywhere. “The heavens declare the Glory of God,” “even the stones will cry out praise!” Blessed are you, the King who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Thanks: I am thankful for the opportunity to praise you! Praising you feels good – better than cheering a sports team, better than applauding a symphony. I would be so glad to be filled with praise for you 24/7!
Confession: You swept out the temple, because it was not being used for prayer and praise. I am your temple. Cleanse me of everything that dishonours your name. fill me the your Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Praise!
Asking: fill others with praise. Especially the downhearted and discouraged, but also the cynical and jaded. Set us all free from the mundane, and fill us with excitement at your eternal majesty!