Lord of humility,
Being part of the crowd on Palm Sunday
is full of cheering and celebration.
It reminds us of bathing in the joy
of family gatherings and community events.
Crowds are often full of fun and cheerful conversation,
from the excitement of a concert or parade
to the time spent sharing stories
with those we haven’t seen for years.
Yet cheering crowds
can also be jeering crowds
and as we wander through the anguish, anger, hurt and guilt
of Your journey to the cross,
we take time to remember
the people and situations
where crowds are not always full of friends,
but instead hostile and uncomfortable.
We pray for those who are the casualties of war:
for those who do not understand the anger of the crowd
and the marching feet of soldiers;
for men and women who wait at home
uncertain if a loved one will return;
for children who will not know their parents;
for towns torn apart
by political divide.
Beyond the fear of the present time,
may they know Your peace in their lives.
We pray for those who are in prison:
for those who listened to the voices of the crowd
and found themselves in unanticipated situations;
for those who did not follow the crowd
and stand in opposition to the views
of their communities and governments.
Behind the walls and doors that trap them,
may they know Your justice seeking the best for all.
We pray for those who feel that they are watching
the crowds enjoy life,
while they stand and watch but cannot take part.:
for those who are bereaved
and feel that no-one understands;
for the sick and the housebound
who find their circumstances separate them from others.
for the homeless
who long for a place of shelter.
Remove the shells they have created
so that all may know
the love and security You offer.
may our prayers be more that words,
but a reminder of Your invitation
to walk with Your crowd
and touch the lives of other in Your name.