6 Calming Holy Saturday Prayers to Say as We Await Resurrection Sunday
- Heather Riggleman Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2021 18 Feb
I’m embarrassed to say as Holy Week approaches on the calendar, I had been looking at those days as more of a break than anything else. As a mom, I’m thinking of all the extra chores I have on my list as I switch the kids’ wardrobes out of winter in favor of spring, not to mention deep cleaning. But maybe I should be focusing on deep cleaning my soul!
We tend to skip over this weekend, especially Holy Saturday as if it’s just another day. But we shouldn’t ignore Saturday or assume it doesn’t have much meaning. God and Jesus were both at work behinds the scenes despite the silence of Saturday. So, I am approaching Easter feeling unprepared and stressed out during this ongoing pandemic. But perhaps now that I’ve caught myself in this mindset, I can change it and prepare for Holy Week, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday!
What Is the Meaning of Holy Saturday?
Holy Saturday which is the day between Jesus’ crucifixion and His resurrection seems to be remarkably quiet in the Scriptures. After all, so much happened on Friday. Jesus died with this conviction: “You will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay” (Acts 2:27). As Jesus died on the cross, He called out, “It is finished.”
Despite the silence, neither were resting. It’s almost as if God was holding His breath and saying, “Trust me. Wait for it and watch what I do next.” The day before the earth rumbled, quaked, shook and the sky grew dark. God made Himself heard on Friday as He opened the graves of the dead and sacrificed His one and only Son to save us all. God tore the veil in the temple from top to bottom and Jesus took our place on the cross.
In Scriptures, we feel the heaviness and groaning of the women who took away Jesus’ body. But no one realized Jesus wasn’t in His body. He wasn’t in the tomb, either. He was busy getting the keys to hell and leaving death in its place. He had paid death in full (Matthew 27:59-60; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53-54; John 19:39-42).
As His followers and women wept and mourned, His disciples scattered in shock as they tried to understand how Judas could have betrayed Him, why He was murdered, and what Jesus had truly meant. The day in between became Holy Saturday as we learned later on what God was doing.
How Do You Observe Holy Saturday?
Later, Holy Saturday became a day to celebrate by holding a vigil just as others did outside His tomb. According to the Bible, Jesus's followers and family held a vigil for him outside his tomb, awaiting his foretold resurrection such as Matthew 27:45–57; Mark 15:42–47; Luke 23:44–56; John 19:38–42. Some churches hold services at sundown on Saturday. Some fast until Easter morning even though the history of fasting on Holy Saturday has varied for thousands of years.
There is no right or wrong way to observe Holy Saturday unless you’re planning on completely ignoring it while folding laundry and jamming out to your favorite band. What matters is that we prepare our hearts to receive the gift Jesus’ death on the cross brought us. We can read the Scriptures and imagine how Mary and His disciples were feeling. They likely had several reactions, a sense of failure, reeling from the trauma of their Savior, or maybe they had lost hope and were in the depths of grieving. We can ask ourselves where do we need comfort in our own story, circumstances, or struggles? We know that Easter is coming, and we can prepare our hearts to welcome the day.
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Six Calming Holy Saturday Prayers
Here are six calming Holy Saturday Prayers to prepare our hearts for Sunday.
Holy Saturday Prayer
Lord God, On the Sabbath, Jesus rested. He was in the grave. He had finished his work. To most people’s eyes, It looked as if it were all over. He was dead and buried. But only as a seed dies when it is planted in the earth, Not to decay, but to spring to new life. Teach us to take refuge in you when we are afraid; Teach us that death is not our end Teach us to hope always in you And in the resurrection, the making of all things New. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
A Prayer to Prepare Our Hearts
Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus before His death, though He was suffering and in excruciating pain, asked You to forgive His mockers and murderers.
What great love must the Lord have. Though they spat, mocked, stripped and whipped Him and crucified Him to death, he asked for them to be forgiven.
Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
What Happened on Holy Saturday Prayer
We recognize the significance of Holy Saturday for the Easter season. It is not merely a day between Good Friday and Easter, but it is a day to observe in consecration of what You did for us. We leave our own agendas, our own desires, and our own pleas at the door and crave today to be still and rest in Your presence. We are so grateful for the ability to quiet our hearts and stand in Your presence, we want to come to know Your heart more this day. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus to die for us, and thank You that You kept Your promise that Easter Sunday. Let us not be so hurried in our own lives that we forget the glory that You brought forth that day.
In Jesus name,
Short Saturday Prayers
Father, I thank You for my life this Saturday morning. I thank You that for saving my life through having one of Your kingdom workers share the Gospel. Thank You for preparing my heart to receive You and serve You. On this Saturday morning, I ask that You richly dwell in my heart and home as you provide peace, and calm. I rebuke every evil force and distraction that opposes what Christ did for me and ask that You create a hedge of protection around my body, soul, and mind. I thank You that I can be confident of this very thing, that which He who has begun a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Please cleanse my heart of all wrongs against You so that I may be ready to rejoice in the morning. Amen.
Holy Saturday Morning Prayer
On this day, the world was waiting, like a long winter hoping for spring, like a dry land awaiting rain. Still, quiet, in between a world hesitating, silent hope in a dark place. Lord, we give to you the times we have in own lives, where all we can do is wait, when all we hold is hope. We give you those times when all we have is faith in new life, new beginnings and heavens call.
Be with all those who today wait in that cold, uncertain place. Hold them, keep them safe in your arms, resting in your promise of new life.
Prayer for Serenity
Dear Lord, please refresh me with your living water. Let the Holy Spirit flow over me. Remind me that this world is not my home and to keep my eyes looking heavenly. I can so easily lose sight of you in the midst of my problems and the world’s craziness.
Others are watching how I react to stress and difficulties. They need to see that my dependence is on you. My source of hope is you working in ways I might not see.
I want to be an encourager when asked how I can still have a smile on my face and joy in my voice as I carry on in the midst of stressful times. Please don’t let darkness overtake me Lord as I seek your face in morning’s light and the stillness of night. I will not be discouraged for I know the Lord my God is with me wherever I go. Praise you Father. Amen
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” Psalm 73:26.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/alessandrophoto
Heather Riggleman is an author, national speaker, former award-winning journalist and podcast co-host of the Moms Together Podcast. She calls Nebraska home with her three kids and a husband of 21 years. She believes Jazzercise, Jesus, and tacos can fix anything and not necessarily in that order! She is author of I Call Him By Name Bible Study, the Bold Truths Prayer Journal, Mama Needs a Time Out, and Let’s Talk About Prayer and a contributor to several books. Her work has been featured on Proverbs 31 Ministries, MOPS, Today's Christian Woman, and Focus On the Family. You can find her at www.heatherriggleman.com or on Facebook.
This article is part of our larger Holy Week and Easter resource library centered around the events leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We hope these articles help you understand the meaning and story behind important Christian holidays and dates and encourage you as you take time to reflect on all that God has done for us through his son Jesus Christ!
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