Holy Saturday-A Time to Mourn; a Time to Pray

Holy Saturday…a time of watching and waiting. 

Forty hours of watching and waiting during an already tumultuous, chaotic time. In my mind I picture a sunless sky, air thick with unsettling strife, bodies covered and faces hidden by cloth in fear. Minds filled with fear of retribution for following Jesus, fear of being caught by the Roman guards, fear of the unknown. It’s an unsettling kind of prolonged quiet.

That’s what I imagine when I think of the Marys waiting somewhere and grieving for Jesus.

One thing is clear. They were believers. Followers of Jesus all through the 3 years of his mission on earth, they walked with him from Galilee to Jerusalem to the cross and stayed close by until the very end. They were certainly not going to forsake him now. 

Their faithfulness would later cause them to be in the right place at the right time in order to be some of the earliest “witnesses” for Christ.

 At least that’s how I look at their last recorded important role. 

Waiting near the tomb would be a dangerous place to wait. The Roman soldiers were there overseeing the stone in front of Jesus’ tomb, making certain His disciples did not roll it away and steal Jesus from the tomb.  No wonder they might have been afraid.  That didn’t drive them away in defeat. No, they watched and waited. 

Courage, commitment, and radical love compelled the women to risk much to be there or close by.

The Bible mentions the word “wait” and other forms of the word hundreds of times. I stopped counting at 108, enough to deduce the emphasis God places on waiting.  However, if you are equating the word “wait” with standing still and twiddling your thumbs, reroute your thinking, please. 

God’s kind of waiting is not to be misconstrued with doing nothing. 

What do you think the Marys were doing while they were “waiting on the Lord”? 

Praying, pondering, mourning, remembering, honoring…whatever it is that they were doing or feeling, I am certain it was done with a concentrated focus on Jesus. 

Imagine what we could accomplish if we approached every prayer request with that kind of commitment, zeal, and persistence. 

We all have the potential to be fervent prayer warriors. 

Yes, we will “fall asleep” on the job at times. 

But when we commit to powerful prayer… powerful things happen! 

Jesus is the source of that power. When we partner with God, He is at work while we are waiting…and praying.  

He is always on watch! 

He never sleeps, never dozes, never stops or strays from His wondrous plan. 

We are able to love others through prayer because He first loved us! And His love is all encompassing, all knowing, all seeing. In prayer we give it all to Him and THEN we watch and wait and continue praying.

When the cause is great enough, or the person important enough to us, we become motivated enough for this type of commitment.  

What causes and what needs are great enough for us to commit time and love in prayer? 

Is it the health of a loved one?

-the pain of the loss of a loved one?

-the need for love and understanding?

-the injustice of so many things in our society?

-the salvation of a friend or family member?

Whatever it is that needs our focus, we will find strength to persist, to mourn rightly, & to pray as we faithfully watch and wait. 

I believe the quiet times invested in waiting give us much in return. 

We will sharpen our faith; strengthen our resolve; build patience; grow our character; enlarge our love; enhance our walk with God; and increase our inner peace. 

The Marys knew this and were rewarded. 

But that happens much later when the sun rises on the triumphant Risen Son! 

We too can Watch, Wait…Sunday’s coming!

2 thoughts on “Holy Saturday-A Time to Mourn; a Time to Pray”

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