Your Cup: A Prayer Tool For Holy Week

Youth Specialties
March 30th, 2015

Too often the week before Easter, the last week of Lent, known as Holy Week is just another week of work. The significance gets lost in the shuffle of meetings, extra services, soccer practices, laundry and finding a clean shirt or a new outfit for Easter Sunday (if not for you, for one of your kids at home).

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? 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
  • Sharing in his cup of suffering when the disciples want a special place of honor
  • 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. Allow Jesus to interrupt you in the midst of your day 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. You could 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. Hmmm… the possibilites.

Daily Prayers and Meditations With Your Cup

Use your cup of coffee, tea, etc. to draw you closer this last week of Lent. Take the time to pause and reflect, walking with Jesus on his Way of Suffering. Know that his desire is to refresh you, to provide you with a cup that is overflowing with his love, grace, joy, and mercy even in the midst of it all.

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”

Cup of Forgiveness

Pray this prayer of confession:

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent, for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Cup of Change

The money changers were cheating people and many of us have cups of coins at home…where we collect change. Gather the change and give it the change and

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, have you felt betrayed or have you been betrayed by anyone? 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.

CUPCup of Remembrance

In the Last Supper, Jesus passes the cup of wine and says “when you drink this cup remember me.” Meditate on the life of Jesus as you drink. Put the pieces of his story back together and think about how it impacts your life today. Think about Jesus serving his disciples through washing their feet. Picture them around the table celebrating the Passover.

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. Any thing 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. Take time to pray for those around the world. Pray for those who drink from cups of suffering on a daily basis. Places like Syria, West Africa, Congo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Haiti, etc.

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

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 throughout the week.


Lilly Lewin is a long time friend of YS and has spent a lot of her time curating the sanctuary spaces atNYWC. She’s an author, a creater of worship spaces, and prayer experiences for churches, retreats, and various workshops. Visit her blog HERE.


Youth Specialties

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.