Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for Tuesday of Holy Week (Passiontide)

Listen to a service of Daily Prayer for Tuesday of Holy Week, including a reflection on John 12.20-36


O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Let your ways be known on earth,
your saving power among the nations.

Blessed are you, Lord God of our salvation,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief
your only Son was lifted up
that he might draw the whole world to himself.
May we walk this day in the way of the cross
and always be ready to share its weight,
declaring your love for all the world.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

John 12.20-36

Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour. 

‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say – “Father, save me from this hour”? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’ Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. The crowd answered him, ‘We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?’ Jesus said to them, ‘The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.’

After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them. 


Jesus said: unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies it bears much fruit.

It does not take a particularly scientific mind to grasp the imagery Jesus uses in today’s reading. In order that we might see a plant in all its beauty, or in all its God-given usefulness, the original seed must cease to exist, it must assume a whole new life. Then, in the fullness of time, each crop will produce more seeds, and the cycle will begin all over again.

Jesus is, of course, talking about himself. In just a few days we will see the human Jesus die on a cross. Then we will witness his resurrection and the beginning of a new and exciting story that will touch every corner of the world. The single grain, Jesus, will die, but he will then take on a new life which will bring humanity into a renewed relationship with its heavenly and loving Father. The death of Jesus will provide us with the ultimate summary of his earthly mission of generous love and selfless service.

However, Jesus’ words are not only about himself, they are also a challenge to each of us. We value our individuality, our independence, our right to choose. We hold dear those things which stand in direct opposition to Jesus’ message for us today. The thought of sacrificing the luxuries that we identify as being essential, or the ways in which we choose to conduct our daily lives are anathema to most of us. We are happy to express our concerns for others less fortunate than ourselves, but we are very reluctant to put the needs of the poor and needy before our own or those of our family and friends. We can become quite ruthless as we strive to preserve, rather than sacrifice, self.

During Holy Week we ponder much that flies in the face of our instincts for self-preservation and self-glorification. Jesus’ new commandment of love, his washing of his disciples’ feet, his willingness to die on a cross can easily be transformed into fairy tales of an ideal which is beyond our grasp. But … all that is associated with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is anything but a fairy tale. Rather, it is an account of God’s desire for us to be Christ-like in order that all who have been created in His own image might enjoy the new covenant which opens up the path to eternal life.

Today we are called to pray that we might set self aside, allowing the single grain to die, in order that we and others might flourish and grow. We are called to pray for the strength to fully engage with the reality of the gospel message as we journey to Calvary … and beyond.


With faith and love and in union with Christ,
let us offer our prayer before the throne of grace.

Have mercy on your people,
for whom your Son laid down his life:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Bring healing and wholeness to people and nations,
and have pity on those torn apart by division:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Strengthen all who are persecuted for your name’s sake,
and deliver them from evil:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Look in mercy upon all who suffer,
and hear those who cry out in pain and desolation:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Bring comfort to the dying,
and gladden their hearts with the vision of your glory:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Give rest to the departed
and bring them, with your saints, to glory everlasting:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Let us commend the world, for which Christ died,
to the mercy and protection of God.

Gracious Father,
you gave up your Son
out of love for the world:
lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion,
that we may know eternal peace
through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Standing at the foot of the cross,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Christ crucified draw us to himself,
to find in him a sure ground for faith,
a firm support for hope,
and the assurance of sins forgiven;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.