Opening Prayers/Prayers of Adoration on Palm Sunday

Sermon Illustrations on Palm Sunday

We sing Hosanna before You, Jesus –  

Blessed are You who come in the name of the Lord our God!  

 Hosanna in the highest!   

You are the Healer of our wounds, our hurts  

and our broken hearts.  We cry: Hosanna! 

You are the Light in our dark moments.  We cry: Hosanna! 

You are the Shepherd who seeks and finds us 

when we’ve wandered and are lost.  We cry: Hosanna! 

You are the Bread of Life who feeds our famished souls, 

and who gives our parched spirits the Living Water.   

We cry: Hosanna! 

Yet, like the people of old – we confess that our “Hosannas” are often replaced with an embarrassed silence when the cost is high to follow you.    

You call us by name – but we are shy in naming Yours.   

You give us all things so we can bless others – but we keep them for ourselves.   

You call us to love you a lot – but we love you little, others some, and ourselves a lot.   

Forgive our timidity, our selfishness and our unbelief, as we now confess to you those things we are too shamed to say aloud before other.  Hear, now, our quiet confessions to You.   

(Silent confession of sins) 


Richard Herman

Palm Sunday- The King is Coming

 The King is coming

The people announce it.

It fills the streets like the perfume filled the house the night before.

“Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord— the King of Israel!”


The King is coming.

The disciples remember it.

Zechariah 9:9

Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!

Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he,

humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.


Hosanna! The King is coming, triumphant and victorious

Riding into Jerusalem just like Solomon did centuries before

Ending the dispute over who’s the one true King


Jesus, Jesus is the King of kings

Greater than the Roman war machine

Greater than the Pax Romana

With Jesus its Eternal Peace-

wrong made right through humility, and vulnerability, and sacrifice

Eternal Peace- Pax Eterna


Zechariah 9:10

He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war-horse from Jerusalem;

and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations;

his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.


Hosanna! The King is coming.

The Anointed One- the Christ

Anointed by Mary in gratitude and love for raising her brother Lazarus from the dead

Anointed by Mary, blessed to reign as King forever

Anointed by Mary, blessed to bear God’s grace as high priest forever

Anointed by Mary, a holy sacrifice anointed for death

The last sacrifice ever needed

A sacrifice so great it overcomes all sin, all death, for all time


Hosanna! The King is coming. The King over death.

Jesus raised Lazarus

Only a few days later he’ll lay down his own life and take it up again

Hosanna! The King over death.

And he will raise us up as well.


Hosanna! The King over death.

All the little deaths. All the little injustices.

All the big deaths. All the big injustices.

Hosanna to the King over death.

Hosanna! Save now.


This is why so many are going after him.

He raised Lazarus from the dead.

This spectacular miracle.

This quick, spectacular fix.


This is what the people were testifying to.

Hosanna to the King of Israel.

Hosanna to the King over death.

Hosanna! Save now.


How many will go after him when his work becomes small?

When his work becomes slow?

When his work becomes sacrifice?


How many will go after him when his work includes our work?

When his work includes our “yes” – our time, our prayer, our money, our hands, our sacrifice

When the hungry come and Jesus says, “You feed them”

When the night of anguish comes and Jesus says, “stay awake, watch and pray with me”

When it’s time to deny ourselves, and take up our cross, and follow

Follow the King- the King of kings, the King of death, the King of sacrifice


Hosanna! The King is coming

Some want it to stop

Some say, “what can you do, the world has gone after him”

Have you gone after Him?

Are you following him?

testifying to him?

serving him?

trusting him?


The King is still coming

The gracious King

The King of kings

The King of death

The King of sacrifice


Our humble King

Our King, triumphant and victorious

Let us go after Him

The King is Coming © 2021 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, www.revlisad.com

O God of Love, whose most gracious Son rode into a city which hailed him and then rejected him, we look to thee, a company of men and women who would give themselves to be his followers. 

We give thee thanks that his spirit is forever seeking entrance into our world’s life—coming as the impulse to sympathy between man and man, as the will to brotherhood eager to banish all suspicion and hatred, as the self-giving spirit which bears the burdens of others even to a cross. 

Give us responsive spirits, that as he meets us in the life of our time, we may know him for the revelation of thy truth, and receive him as our Lord and King.  

Forbid that we should hail him as Master when all men speak well of him, and then deny him in the lonely hour of his rejection. Increase our faith in him as thine own Word to us, that we may deny ourselves and take up what cross thou givest us, and follow him.

Father of mankind, who nearest on thine own heart the sufferings and the sins of thy sons and daughters, we beseech thee to pardon us that we so often close the gates against the entrance of his spirit. Forgive us for the love of self, which will not suffer him to lead us to a larger life. Deliver us from the rivalries and ambitions which hold him from his rightful leadership of the nations. Free us from the deluded pride which forbids his spirit to create friendliness among the races. Pardon us for our unwillingness to let him fill industry and commerce with friendliness and common service.

As our world this day echoes with the ancient story of the meek King who came into his own, grant that we may break down every barrier which we have built against his entrance, and say from our hearts, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Most compassionate Father, who longest to lead all thy children out of darkness into thy marvelous light, send the spirit of thy Son this day to all who sit in darkness within the walled cities of their own sorrows of perplexities. May they hear the song of rejoicing of those who have found him their Savior and Helper, and fling wide the gates of their spirits that they may bring them peace. Amen. 

Prayers for Services, ed. Morgan Phelps Noyes, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1934.


Blessed are you, O Lord our God,

King of the Universe,

In Jesus Christ, you rule and reign,

Not as a tyrant, but as a humble servant

Riding on a donkey, washing feet, suffering from injustice

Open our hearts this day, take your throne

Open our lips this day with shouts of praise



Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest!


Opening Prayer for Palm Sunday © 2015 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, www.revlisad.com

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,

Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,

where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;

hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox

that the way down is the way up,

that to be low is to be high,

that the broken heart is the healed heart,

that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,

that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,

that to have nothing is to possess all,

that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,

that to give is to receive,

that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,

and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;

Let me find thy light in my darkness,

thy life in my death,

thy joy in my sorrow,

thy grace in my sin,

thy riches in my poverty

thy glory in my valley.

The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, The Banner of Truth, 1975.