Good Friday Worship-At-Home Prayer Stations
…Based on Jesus’ Last Words on the Cross
(adapted from prayer stations developed
by Graham Rutter, Church of England)
We’re so glad you are able to worship in this way.
These stations have been designed with you in mind. We are inviting you on a self-directed time of prayer and reflection. Each station focuses on one of Jesus’ last sayings, gives some thoughts for reflection, provides instruction, and then calls for a response.
Things You’ll Need to Gather Ahead of Time…
We have attempted to design the stations with commonly found items in homes or perhaps right outside your front door. In preparation, you will need the following:
- Station One: Some sand in a bowl. (Or, take a walk outside and find a rock or stick to write in a patch of dirt rather than the sand.)
- Station Two: Something sweet to taste or nibble on (piece of candy, cookie, etc.) or a small pinch of sugar.
- Station Three: Piece(s) of paper and the following three maps:
- Station Four: Psalm 22, piece of paper, and a pencil or pen
- Station Five: A cup/glass of water
- Station Six: A candle and something to light it. Or a light/lamp.
- Station Seven: A quiet place to sit and reflect
We hope this is truly a time of spiritual nourishment. May the Holy Spirit guide you, may Jesus’ words pierce and fill your heart and mind, and may you always
rest in the love of God our Father.
God bless you.
Station One: Forgiveness
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
There are times when we need to be forgiven and God forgives us. There are times when we need to forgive. God gives us the strength to forgive.
Is there something you wish to bring to God to ask forgiveness? Write or draw it in the sand. Ask forgiveness. Then pass your hand through the sand, obliterating the words or images as a symbol of receiving God’s forgiveness.
Is there something which you should forgive? Write or draw it in the sand. Ask God for the strength to forgive. Smooth the sand as a symbol of this.
Station Two: Giving Thanks
“I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
Thank you! Take a few moments to think of some of the blessings in your life. God loves us, and is so faithful and merciful to us. God’s greatest gift to us however, is Jesus Christ, our Lord.
“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.” John 3:16
God loves you!
Thank you, God, for the gift of Jesus. Thank you!
Take a nibble of your sweet treat, and as you eat it say thank you to God for God’s love and all the good things he gives us.
Station Three: Compassion
“Dear woman, here is your son.” “Here is your mother.” John 19:26-27
Even up on the cross, dying for our sins, Jesus showed compassion for his mother, who he was preparing to leave on earth. Caring for parents was something highly valued and expected within that culture. Jesus came for the world, and his compassion was always felt by those close to him.
Spend some time looking at the maps of Harrisburg, our region, and then the world. Give thanks to God for the love and compassion that Jesus showed. Ask God to help you to know that love and compassion.
With your pieces of paper, create some hearts. On one of the heart shapes write the name or initials of a person, place or situation where God’s love is needed. Ask God to help you show his love and compassion.
Station Four: God Is Near
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34
God promises to never leave us, nor forsake us. In Jesus, we have a great Mediator who empathizes with our weakness. In the Holy Spirit, we have a Helper and Comforter. Even when we don’t see it, God is there. Even when we don’t feel it, God is there. God is always near.
Read Psalm 22.
Remember these words:
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
“He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.”
With your paper and writing utensil, draw a cross. Now add patterns, pictures, and/or words. As you do so, ask God to reveal his light shining into the darkness, and for you to feel his presence, and to know that he is near.
Station Five: Refreshment
“I am thirsty.” John 19:28
Only God satisfies. Only God satisfies. Only God satisfies.
Jesus said “whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)
Pour a glass of water and as you do so watch and listen to the water flowing. Spend some time looking at the water you have poured. Thank God for his refreshing Spirit. Take a drink and ask God to fill you afresh.
Station Six: Light of the World
“It is finished.” John 19:30
Lighting a candle can be, in itself, a prayer. It acts as a sign of God’s presence among us, a light in the dark. It shows our concern. It symbolizes our commitment: the candle only produces its light by burning itself and shows the sacrificial nature of love. When joined by candles lit by others, they become a visible sign of our combined prayers.
Light a candle (or turn on a flashlight or lamp). Take a moment, and observe the light. Thank God for Jesus, for shining as a light for us. Ask God to help you shine your light for others to know God.
Station Seven: God Is Love
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Luke 23:46
Reflect on all that Jesus did for us…
Jesus, your life was a journey from the moment you were born. From birth to death. From Bethlehem’s stable to Calvary’s cross.
How often we fail to understand that the conclusion of your journey was inevitable, that you understood this from the very beginning, yet walked the path that was yours to take. By comparison the many choices we make in our life seem trivial, the twists and turns we choose are often on an impulse, with no clear comprehension of the outcome.
Thank you, Jesus. Thank you that you loved humankind enough to make that journey, even as you felt that pain of rejection, the pain of the lashes, the pain of the nails, the pain of the cross.
Take some time to hear and talk to God about all you have experienced through these stations. Rest in God’s presence. Give thanks for Jesus’ journey. And let the Spirit of God wash over you.
God bless you!