Church Leaders’ Palm Sunday Call to Prayer

Rt Rev Dr William Henry

30.3.2020 | Congregational Life, Moderator, These three remain

The Moderator William Henry provides some background and practical prayer pointers ahead of the forthcoming Day of Prayer to be held on Palm Sunday, 5th April between 3 and 4 pm.

The challenges faced by our world are without parallel in living memory, and the effect upon our society is stark. No one is untouched by the impact of this virus.

So, what is our first response? Yes, we will follow all government advice but let’s, with primary urgency, call upon the one who has the power to change and stop anything, “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11

With the leaders of the main churches in Ireland, I have called for a National Day of Prayer throughout Ireland centred on Palm Sunday between 3-4pm. Materials will be provided here on the PCI website, so get together with your family in prayer, and join me in asking God to deliver our land and our world.

I ask you to share this Call to Prayer so that across Ireland we are united in prayer in that hour. 

From The Moderator

Rt Rev Dr William Henry


Answering the call to prayer in your congregation

Those taking part in answering the call to prayer may benefit from a framework for more focused time in prayer, prompting them from Scripture to know God’s presence with them and to make known their requests to him. Below is a simple, flexible framework for spending an hour in prayer, whether individually, with others in a home setting, or using technology to connect with a larger group. Particular prompts for prayer for children are included in each section.


You can also download some additional family resources on PDF here or if you prefer a Word document here.

A pattern for an hour of prayer

Preparation: Calming our hearts to pray

Read: Psalm 46:10

Be still and know that I am God.

Prompt to pray:

  • Ask God to quieten your mind, help you focus on him and open your heart to him in prayer.
  • Pray acknowledging your trust that God is in control of all things.
  • For children: Put your hands together. Close your eyes. Be quiet and get ready to talk to God.


Prayer: Connecting with all God’s people across Ireland in answering the call to pray

Read or say together: The words of the Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name;
your kingdom come;
your will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.


Prompts to pray:

  • Give thanks for the gift of prayer to a heavenly Father who hears and answers.
  • Choose a line from the Lord’s Prayer that particularly struck you as you read. Turn it into a prayer for our present circumstances.
  • For children: Thank God that we can pray as part of his big family. Ask God to give us all we need each day.


Praise: Centring our thoughts on God as comforter and his work in us and through us

Read: 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Prompts to pray:

  • Praise God as our great comforter in all our troubles.
  • Pray that God’s comfort might flow through us to those most in need - those who are ill, self-isolating, vulnerable, anxious, alone.
  • For children: Thank God for your house in which you can stay home and keep safe. Pray for other boys and girls who have a sick family member at home or in hospital.


Parable: Calling us to neighbourliness and community

Read: Luke 10: 25-37

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’

26 ‘What is written in the Law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’

27 He answered, ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”; and, “Love your neighbour as yourself.”’

28 ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.’

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’

30 In reply Jesus said: ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half-dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said, “and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.”

36 ‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’

37 The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’

Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’


Prompts to pray:

  • Thank God for an increasing spirit of neighbourliness in local communities.
  • Pray for frontline health workers as they treat those suffering from the Coronavirus.
  • Pray for the global medical science community as they work together to combat and overcome the effects of the virus.
  • Pray that in our concern for our own situations we might not pass by others in need.
  • For children: Ask God to help you listen to your parents, do what they ask, share with others and be kind while you are inside more than usual.


Promise: Creating peace through faith in Christ

Read: John 16:33

Jesus said, ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’


Prompts to pray:

  • Ask God that among the many messages we hear in the media, we would hold on to what he has told us in his Word the Bible.
  • Thank God for Jesus’ victory which overcomes all that stands against us in life and the world.
  • Pray that many across the island of Ireland would realise the fragility of life and seek peace in Jesus.
  • For children: Ask God to help you not be afraid and to trust Jesus to keep you safe.


Parting: Committing one another to the Lord’s keeping

Read: Numbers 6:24-26

24 ‘The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face towards you
    and give you peace.’


Prompts to pray:

  • Entrust family, friends, neighbours and congregational members to God’s blessing and keeping in these days.
  • Ask God that he would show favour and grace to the people of Ireland in the coming days.
  • Ask that many might experience God’s face turned towards them in their circumstances and find their peace in him.
  • For children: Pray for parents, grandparents, family, friends and neighbours that God will keep them safe and well.

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