Interactive Prayer Guide
Stations of the Cross Prayer Guide
elcome to Frazer’s Stations of the Cross Prayer Experience which is designed to help you contemplate and reflect on the Passion of Jesus Christ during the last hours of His life. We have chosen eight meditation and prayer stations that focus on the journey of Jesus from His time of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane to His death on the cross. These devotions will take you down the “Via Dolorosa” or “Way of Sorrow” traveling with Jesus as he made his way to Golgotha. Each station has a passage of scripture to read. Have your Bible handy to read the scriptures or follow the links to biblegateway.com.
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41
The Eight Stations 1 Jesus Prays in the Garden of Gethsemane 2 Jesus Is Condemned to Death 3 Jesus Is Mocked 4 Jesus Takes Up His Cross 5 Simon of Cyrene Carries Jesus’ Cross 6 Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross 7 Jesus’ Promise to the Thief 8 Jesus Dies
1. Jesus Prays in the Garden of Gethsemane Read Matthew 26:36-50, 55-56
otice in these passages how Jesus part of the plan but could not begin to struggles in Gethsemane. See the imagine how that would feel. blood drops produced in his great agony. 5. Salvation was in that cup. As Jesus Here we see Jesus’ humanity at its deepest looked into the cup He knew it was to level. There was a great conflict within provide salvation to all people. That Him as He willed to submit to the Father. knowledge gave Him the courage, He prayed three times that “the cup” might strength and will to go on – to drink the pass from Him. What was in the “cup” that cup – to offer a way for every sinner to He desired to avoid? know the Father. 1. Sin was in that cup. Not just some sin, but the sin of the entire world, from Adam to the very last sinner on the earth. (Your sin was in the cup.)
Spend some time meditating on His love for you. Kneel if you are able, as you bow in praise. Thank God for Jesus’ willingness to suffer and die for you. Never forget that your life was bought with a very high price.
2. Suffering was in that cup. Even though Jesus had known the time would come for Him to be beaten, flogged, and crucified, His struggle was great as He Loving Father, anticipated the horror of the next few Your love for me and for the world is hours. infinitely beyond human understanding. 3. Sacrifice was in that cup. Beyond the How You could plan so far ahead of time to sin and suffering, Jesus recognized give Your only Son as a sacrifice to pay for His role as the final sacrifice. He knew the sins of the world, is overwhelming. As how bloody and brutal the “Day of inadequate as it is, “Thank you!” Thank you Atonement” sacrifices were and knew for loving me enough to send Your Son to that as the last sacrificial lamb, His DIE. I thank you that Jesus was obedient. death would be equally bloody and Thank you that He, too, loved infinitely and was willing to endure great suffering and brutal. death to save mankind from eternity without 4. Separation was in that cup. Never You! Amen. before had He experienced separation from His Father. He knew that was
2. Jesus Is Condemned to Death Read Matthew 27: 11-31
ho is to blame for Jesus’ mock trial and condemnation to death? Was it the Jews? They accused Him of blasphemy for which the penalty was death, but the Romans had taken away their authority to impose the death penalty. Was it the Romans? Yes, the Roman soldiers flogged Jesus and carried out the crucifixion, but they were indifferent to Jesus’ guilt or innocence. They were just following orders and enjoying the cruelty they were allowed to inflict on crucifixion victims. Or was it the combined sins of the world? In one sense, yes, the sin of every person condemned and then nailed Jesus to that cross.
embrace His Father’s will. The prophet Isaiah says in 53:10 –“ it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief.” Clearly this was God’s plan from the very beginning. Can you begin to grasp God’s great love for you? Spend some time thanking and praising God for His unparalleled love for you. Confess that your sin makes you a participant with the angry crowd. Everyone participates.
Merciful God, You are good beyond all understanding. I am wretched, miserable and sinful. I acknowledge that it was my sin that caused Read Matthew’s account of Jesus’ trial Jesus to have to suffer and die. My lips are before Pilate. Pay close attention to the ready to confess while my heart is slow to frenzied crowd present that day. Jesus was feel and my ways are reluctant to mend. I willing to die for everyone in that multitude bring myself to you – break me, bend me, of humanity – the Jewish leaders who mold me. Reveal my sin nature that I may despised and feared him, the Jewish people hate it and flee from it. Help me to know who just went along with their leaders, that the way of evil is hard and evil paths are the Romans who held him in custody and wretched paths. Work in me profound and every person who would ever live on planet abiding repentance and give to me godly grief that leads to righteousness through Earth. Jesus’ sacrifice. Amen. But it was God the Father who determined long ago that Jesus would die this horrible death for our sins. Any controversy about who crucified Jesus is marginal at best. His Father ordained it and Jesus chose to
3. Jesus Is Mocked Mark 15:16-20
isten carefully to this passage from Mark. Do you catch the cruel irony in this passage? Finally, Jesus received the words He deserved: “Hail, King of the Jews!” But it is mockery, not true worship. He wears a crown on His head; not the golden crown of His sovereignty but the thorny crown of pain and suffering. He wears the scarlet robe fit for a king only to be laughed at and spit upon. The Roman soldiers made sport of the hands that would soon be nailed-pierced to save them from eternal punishment for sin. They spit upon and slapped the face that reflected His love for them. How it must have broken His heart as He endured the torture, the mockery and the rejection. Jesus continues to be mocked even today. Many people mock overtly, treating the King of Kings with contempt and disdain. How often we see Jesus made fun of and discounted by those who do not know him. But how about us who claim to be His followers? Do we covertly mock Jesus by how we live, how we talk, how we treat others, how we ignore his command to love one another? According to the dictionary to mock is to treat with contempt or ridicule–to defy or challenge. Think about it. Of course, you
would never overtly mock Jesus but take some time to examine your life asking God to reveal how you may be mocking Jesus by your actions and attitudes. Are you guilty of any of the attitudes reflected in the examples before you? Father, Forgive me for times when I make a mockery of Jesus by not living according to Your Word. Give me a greater understanding of how I can be guilty of covertly mocking my Lord and my Savior. Teach me to live in a way that never mocks but always honors and glorifies Jesus. Help me to honor You through an abiding life that brings pleasure and glory to Your holy name. Amen
4. Jesus Carries the Cross Read John 19:15-17
God of all righteousness, Destroy in me every lofty thought; break pride to pieces and scatter it to the winds. Annihilate each clinging shred of selfrighteousness. Implant in me true lowliness of spirit and the knowledge that Jesus’ righteousness rescues me. Give to me an obedient heart where You are present and evil cannot live. May I always be surrendered to You and dependent upon You in every area of my life. I plead nothing in myself in regard of any worthiness and Consider Romans 5:19: For as through grace, but only Your good pleasure. Help the one man’s disobedience the many me to honor You through an abiding life were made sinners, even so through the that brings pleasure and glory to Your holy obedience of the One the many will be name. Amen. made righteous. Jesus was obedient to the Father so that we might share in His righteousness. Thank Him for loving you so much that obedience was not an option but that He made a conscious decision to suffer and die so that you might live now and forever through faith in Him. As you ponder Jesus’ obedience ask God to help you live a life of complete obedience to His will. lose your eyes for a moment and picture Jesus, broken and bleeding, struggling to carry His cross. Imagine walking the “Via Dolorosa” or “Way of Suffering” with Jesus. Ponder His agony and excruciating pain as He labored with the heavy cross. Even in His agony He seems to have embraced His cross as well as His mission as seen in this picture. Jesus not only carried the heavy cross, but carried the weight of our sin as well.
5. Simon of Cyrene Carries Jesus’ Cross Read Luke 23:26 and Mark 15:21-22
God of All Grace, You have given me a Savior; fill me with Your Spirit, produce in me a faith to live through Him, to make Him all my desire, all my hope, and all my glory. May I seek Him as my refuge, build on Him as my foundation, walk in Him as my way, follow Him as my guide, conform to Him as my example, receive His instructions as my As Jesus’ disciples we are not forced prophet, rely on His intercession as my high as Simon was but are instructed to be priest, and obey Him as my king. I accept willing to daily take up our cross for the and embrace my unique cross that you have cause of Christ. The cross is God’s tool ordained for my life. Use me to help reach of redemption, instrument of salvation the lost and hurting world. Amen. and proof of his love. To take up the cross, then, is to take up Christ’s burden for the people of the world. Though our crosses are similar, none are identical. Jesus said in Luke 9:23: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” We each have our own cross to carry—our individual calling. Your God-designed task fits you, it matches your passions and enlists your gifts and talents. imon was forced to carry Jesus’ cross and as he did, he experienced the heavy burden physically. In this picture, is Simon taking the cross from Jesus. Can you imagine the weight Simon felt as he carried Jesus’ cross. How much greater was the spiritual and emotional weight that Jesus felt as he bore the sins of the whole world?
Are you willing to take up your cross daily and follow Him wherever He may lead? Talk to Him about it.
6. Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross Read Luke 23:32-38
Merciful God, I thank You that You have forgiven all my sins of this day, week, year, and life; sins of omission and commission, of hardheartedness, unbelief, presumption, pride, of unfaithfulness to the souls of men and deficiency in outspoken zeal for Your glory, of bringing dishonor upon Your great name, of deception, injustice, untruthfulness in my dealings with others, of impurity in thought, word and deed. Forgive me of sins in my family, in the study of Your word and in the neglect of it, in prayer irreverently offered As you pray the prayer below insert any and coldly withheld, in time misspent, in specific sins you need to confess. Rest yielding to Satan’s trickery, in opening assured that God completely forgives. myself to his temptations and in quenching (1 John 1:9—”If we confess our sins, He is the Holy Spirit. Pardon all my sins, known faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and unknown, confessed and not confessed, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”) remembered or forgotten. Lord, hear; and hearing forgive. Amen. s you read Luke’s account of Jesus being nailed to His cross, consider the extravagant price He paid for your sins. Imagine you are one of those people “looking on.” What is it like watching Jesus take the punishment for your sins? Take a piece of paper and write any sin(s) you need to confess to the Lord. Know that your sin was nailed to the cross with Jesus. Now, shred or tear up those sins and throw them away. Thank God that he no longer remembers those confessed sins.
7. Jesus’ Promise to the Thief Read Luke 23:32-33, 39-43
hree men were being crucified; two of them were deserving criminals. One criminal joins the crowd in taunting Jesus, sarcastically calling out for salvation that he does not believe can be delivered. The other, sensing Jesus’ holiness defends Him as an innocent victim. In desperate hope he cries out for Jesus to remember him.
Gracious Loving God,
Your unending love brought Jesus from heaven to earth, from the earth to the cross and from the cross to the grave. Your love caused You to be weary, hungry, tempted, scorned, scourged, spit on, pierced and crucified. Love led You to bow Your head in death. Yours is a perfect love for which I am Even as He hung on the cross facing eternally grateful. I acknowledge that I am imminent death, Jesus showed great love as undeserving as the thief who hung near and mercy. All the criminal had to do was you. Help me, Lord, to walk in Your love as I ask demonstrating a small measure of faith. journey through this life You have graciously But it was enough faith to stir up Jesus’ love given me. Amen and compassion. Like it or not, we have much in common with this condemned criminal. We, like him, are sinners that need only to acknowledge Jesus and His saving grace and power in order to insure that we will someday be with Him in paradise. Ponder this type of unconditional (agape) love. Worship your savior and meditate on the scriptures before you telling of God’s great love.
8. Jesus Dies on the Cross Read Matthew 27:45-50 and Luke 23:44-49
O God, I know that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus died for my sins and I turn away from my sin. I invite you into my heart and my life. From this moment I want to trust and follow Jesus as Even the Roman centurion recognized that my Lord and my Savior. Thank you Jesus, Jesus was the son of God (Matthew 27:54). for loving me enough to die to cleanse me He reacted out of terror but you have the from my sin. Amen. privilege of responding with praise and thanksgiving. As you bow in thankful and If you have just prayed that prayer, please heartfelt prayer reflect on what Jesus’ death share that with a Christian you know today. provides for you as a believer in Him. He We would love to hear from you as well, so we gives us access to the Father in this life and can rejoice with you and help you learn more an eternity with Him in heaven. Remember about how to grow as a Christian. You can that neither being a “good person” nor your send us a note at email@example.com. “good works” will get you into heaven, only God’s amazing grace through a relationship with Jesus guarantees heaven. eflect on the depth of the despair as Jesus hung on the cross for hours on that fateful day. Hear His cries of anguish as He takes His last breath. Remember His sacrifice! It is finished!
If you do not know Jesus as your savior, you can today. Pray right now, asking God to accept you on the basis of Jesus’ sacrifice. Pray this prayer of repentance and surrender:
Closing Prayer Before Your cross I kneel and see the wickedness of my sin that caused You to be â€œmade a curse. â€? Show me the enormity of my guilt by the crown of thorns, the pierced hands and feet, the bruised body, and the dying cries. Sinner that I am, why should the sun give me light, the air supply breath, or the earth bear my feet? Yet Your compassions yearn over me, Your love endured my curse, and Your mercy bore my deserved stripes. I offer a heart of praise and thanksgiving acknowledging Your love and mercy beyond any human comprehension. Amen.
Remember that the Cross is not the end. On the third day, the first Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead, defeating evil and death once and for all. Because he lives, we can have the hope of eternal life. All creation waits in eager anticipation for the resurrection of the children of God through the power of Jesus, when all things will be made right and every tear will be wiped away. We encourage you to find a local church where you can celebrate Easter in worship, or watch one of our services live at frazerumc.org/live (9:30 or 11:00 a.m. Central Time every Sunday).
Frazer United Methodist Church