By Lilly Lewin
With the possibility that we won’t be meeting together much this Lenten Season, due to COVID-19, I’ve been thinking of resources to share that can help us worship on our own and experience the season in smaller groups at home. One of these resources is Praying with your Cup for Holy Week. As I was adding to these prayers, I realized that I might need to START NOW, and begin this in the middle of Lent and not wait for Holy Week. I need the reminder that Jesus is holding me in his hand just like I hold my coffee cup each morning! Just my editing process of these prayers helped me focus on Jesus rather than the world’s craziness. Maybe like me, you too need to pray with your cup!
Praying with our Cup can be done on your own in the morning and continue you as you use a cup throughout the day. You can pick out a special cup for this devotional time or you could even use paper cups and decorate them with words or pictures for each day. Praying with your cup can be done on your own or with others. You could do this around the table at breakfast as a family or with roommates over dinner. You could do a zoom call with friends or your small group and share your cup practice and prayers together. You could FaceTime with a friend across the country or down the street. The beautiful thing about technology today is that we are not alone!
If you do this practice in a small group setting, invite everyone to bring a cup from home, or provide a paper cup to create and pray with and have some sharpie markers for decoration. Same thing if you are doing this online as a group, plan a time to meet together and invite people to have their cups ready to go.
I will be posting more resources for prayer and worship at home here and on my facebook page. I’d love to hear more about how you use this prayer practice and you can even hashtag pictures #freerangeprayercups
Drink deeply of that Great Love of Jesus today! You are held in God’s hand.
Praying with your Cup for Holy Week
by Lilly Lewin
Inspired by the writings of Joyce Rupp
How are you feeling about Holy Week this year? As you look towards Easter have you drawn closer to Jesus in the last few days and weeks, or are you feeling like you have been running and running and your cup is now totally empty?
Is your spiritual cup over flowing with energy and gratitude? or are you looking into an empty cup that is dry and needs filling?
What do you need in your cup as you look towards Easter Sunday this year?
Jesus talks a lot about cups in his ministry…
Giving a cup of cold water to the least of these Matthew 10: 40-42
Sharing in his cup of suffering when the disciples want a special place of honor Matthew 21:21-23
Drinking and sharing in the cup of the New Covenant and the cup of salvation at the Last Supper
And asking God to remove the cup of suffering from him in the Garden of Gethsemane
This week in the midst of it all, use a cup as your prayer tool.
A coffee cup. A red solo cup, a tea cup or even a paper cup. Allow God to speak to you about your life with him as you drink from your cup. You might choose a special cup just for Holy Week or you might just see which kind of cup you end up with as you do your prayer focus each day. Allow Jesus to use that cup of coffee, tea or water to be a symbol of where you are on your journey.
Allow Jesus to refresh you as you drink from your cup each day.
Allow Jesus to interrupt you in the midst of your day, in the midst of a meeting, to remind you of the cup of salvation, or his cup of suffering, or your need for his living water.
Even a Starbucks cup can remind you to pray… for the barista, for the other customers in line, for the farmers who grew the coffee, for those who might be suffering for lack of coffee, or for lack of care, due to exploitation of the industrial complex. Hum… the possibilities!
Check out the daily prayers below. Use your cup of coffee, tea etc to draw you closer this week or the week before Easter!
Take the time to pause and reflect and walk with Jesus on his Way of Suffering. And know that his desire in all of this is to refresh you and provide you with a cup that is overflowing with his love and grace joy and mercy even in the midst of all the busyness!
You can do these short meditations/reflections on your own, with your family, or even as a youth group activity individually or all at one time.
DAY 1 Palm Sunday: Cup of Praise. Cheers or Jeers? As you hold your cup consider where your heart is. Are you cheering with the crowd today or are you feeling more like a jeering Pharisee? Are you pouring out praises or curses on those around you? As you drink from your cup today, take time to praise and thank Jesus for the things He is doing in your life. As you drink from cups today pray “hosanna, blessed is the king who comes in the Name of the Lord”. READ Matthew 21:1-11.
DAY 2. Monday: Cup of Forgiveness, A Confession. What do you need to ask forgiveness for? Talk to God about this. Allow God’s love to fill you up today. As you wash your cup or other dishes, allow this to be a confession. What is the dirt and grime of life that needs to be washed away? Ask Jesus to show you. Allow the water to remind you that Jesus is cleansing and forgiving you daily.
DAY 3. Tuesday: The Cup of Change. The money changers were cheating people and blocking the way to prayer in the temple. What might be blocking you today? Talk to Jesus about the things that might be blocking you in prayer or worship. Who are the people who are blocked from knowing God in your neighborhood? Who are the people who are blocked from worship? Pray for these people or groups to feel the love and acceptance of Jesus today. Ask Jesus to show you ways to help them God’s love and Hospitality. READ Matthew 21:12-17.
Many of us have cups of coins at home where we collect change. Gather the change and give the money to a local charity, to a homeless person, or someone you know who is in need.
DAY 4. Wednesday: The Cup of Betrayal. Judas plans to betray Jesus and give him up to leaders who were jealous and afraid of Jesus and his teaching. As you drink from your cup today, how have you felt betrayed? Talk to Jesus about this. Tell him your pain. Pray for this person or situation and ask Jesus to help you forgive and heal.
What about you? Have you betrayed anyone? Talk to God about this and ask for forgiveness. Are there ways you have betrayed Jesus in your life? Talk to Him about this and allow Jesus to forgive you. READ John 13:1-6, 21-30, Matthew 26: 4-15.
DAY 5. Thursday: The Cup of Remembrance. “When you drink this cup remember me” – Jesus
The Cup of the New Covenant… as you drink from your cup today, consider the last supper. Think about Jesus serving his disciples through washing their feet. Picture them around the table celebrating the Passover. What does washing someone’s feet look like in 2020? How can you serve someone today? Talk to Jesus about this and then make a plan and act on it. Do something you wouldn’t normally do for someone in your family, household, or office without being asked. As you drink from your cup today to remember that you are called to Love God and Love others as Jesus did.
READ John 13:31-35.
DAY 6. Friday: The Cup of Suffering. Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that God would remove the cup of suffering from him. But Jesus was willing to take the cup for each of us. And Jesus is with us in our suffering.
As you drink from your up today, is there anything in your life you wish God would remove? Talk to God about this. Any areas of suffering where you need healing? Ask Jesus to heal you.
As you drink from your cup today, Take time to pray for those around the world who are suffering
Pray for those who drink from cups of suffering on a daily basis. Places like Syria, the US southern border, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico still recovering from the hurricane and earthquake. Places still in war and conflict, like Sudan, Congo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Venezuela. Pray for the people who are suffering because of COVID-19 near you and around the world. READ Matthew 26:36-45.
DAY 7. Saturday: The Empty Cup. Loss. The disciples hadn’t understood that Jesus had to die. They hadn’t planned on losing their friend. And they were afraid that they might die too. Look at your empty cup. Have you suffered a loss this week, this month, this year? Allow Jesus to be with you in that loss. Sit with the empty cup and give the loss to Jesus. What fears are in your cup today? As you hold your cup picture Jesus holding your fears. Give your loss and your fear to Jesus. Allow Jesus to hold your empty cup today.
DAY 8. Sunday: Cup of Resurrection and New Life. As you drink from your cup today thank Jesus for the New Life that is in you! Ask Him to show you glimpses of resurrection and hope today and in the days to come. What things in nature, or in other people give you hope? How can you bring resurrection/hope to someone today? Ask Jesus to show you and plan an action that can bring hope to someone in your family, friend group or community. READ Matthew 28:1-10 and/or John 20.
DAY 9: Monday after Easter: The Cup of What is Next? The disciples now had a new reality, Jesus was no longer dead! For some this was exciting, for others like Peter, it made life uncertain. So he goes back to what he did before, fishing! What were they supposed to do now? How do they live? They were being invited into a new life of resurrection, a new life of living out the ways of Jesus. As you drink from your cup today, talk to Jesus about any doubts, fears or uncertainties you have about what is next in your life. Ask Jesus to show you his great love in the middle of the questions and the waiting on what is next. Remember that like Peter, Jesus has a call and plan for you and loves you more than you can even imagine! READ John 21:15-25.
Have a wonderful Holy Week!
Drink deeply of that Great Love!
©lillylewin and ©freerangeworship.com
PDF available: Holy Week with Cups 2020