On this Good Friday and Holy Saturday, I want to encourage you to spend some extra time in prayer.
From the very earliest days of religious life in the Judeo-Christian tradition, there’s been a recognition that in times of crisis we should seek God. This is one of those times.
One way we can carve out a little extra time to pray is to fast one meal today or tomorrow, if your health permits. Use the time you would have been eating as a special time for reflection and prayer. You could also choose to do a different kind of fast: put your phone away and stay away from your computer and TV for an hour and use that time for prayer.
Let me suggest a few themes to help you use that hour:
Use that time to lament. We lament when we suffer, and things are out of our control. We lament when we don’t understand the “why” of a situation. We lament when we are confused and have an inner sense of injustice with no answers.
Use that time to repent. Times like this remind us of our personal and national sins. It does no good to pretend that those sins don’t exist. The history of Salvation that we find in the Bible reminds us that God responds to our repentance with grace and mercy.
Use that time to submit. Prayers of submission wrestle with getting our hearts to a place where we are willing to put God’s will before our own, and God’s glory before our own concerns.
Use that time to intercede. There are so many things to pray about right now! People who are sick, hospitals that are overwhelmed, families that are scared or morning, health care workers that are overworked, politicians that need wisdom, businesses that need help. Pray for your own neighbors, and for your coworkers or schoolmates.
Good Friday and Holy Saturday offer us a special opportunity to humble ourselves and seek God before the good news of Easter. Let’s take advantage of it!