Prayers for Pentecost

The Day of Pentecost is recognised by most Christians as one of the Great festivals of the Lord and Holy Spirit. The name 'Pentecost' comes from the Greek word 'Pentekoste', meaning 'fiftieth'.

The meaning of this beautiful feast is not only very personal, but very important for all nations on this earth, as it relates to the very plan of salvation and shows us God as the truly living Eternal God working out here below among us.

As the time of Pentecost, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, rapidly comes closer, prayer is something that truly cannot be separated from this Christian holiday.

Alan Gaunt has published and provided some of his Prayers for Pentecost:

CONFESSION

Eternal God, your power is not limited,
and the promises you have made, you will keep,
even though the human race should hinder
you for a million years.

Your love, your justice, your peace
will prevail,
even though human beings,
like ourselves,
go on hating, killing, torturing,
bombing each other to despair,
and refusing to forgive.

Your mercy will conquer,
even though we ignore human need,
create misery for earth’s living creatures,
and desecrate the earth,
making the future bleak
for our children and grandchildren.

Your power and promise will not fail.

Though we are obstinate,
narrow minded and prejudiced;
though our faith so much resembles unbelief,
even now, begin again, in your Holy Spirit,
to give us power of utterance;
so that as your people,
charged with your truth,
we will be able, in spite of ourselves,
to make known the promise of your power
for ultimate and endless good.

PAUSE

God says,
Now you shall see
whether my word will come true for you or not.
Do not be afraid,
I have redeemed you,
you are my witnesses.

Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord

INTERCESSION 1

Loving God,
whose Spirit of power and gentleness
is for ever bringing to you
all earth's hopeful and desperate prayers,
receive us as we come
with our hopes and fears.

Read from the hidden depths of our being,
those yearnings and needs
we are not even aware of ourselves;
as we join our prayers
to the yearning prayers of Jesus,
for peace and justice
in this deeply troubled world
where there is so much hurt and destruction.

We pray for an end
to the delusion of rulers and nations,
continuing to trust in the power of war to establish peace,
so that innocents die
and people immured to brutality,
commit atrocities on their fellow human beings.

Faced with images of human nature at its worst,
and aware how so much that is evil
arises from our own thoughtless animosity and prejudice,
we pray, with Christ,
for your Spirit's deep cleansing of our own hearts and minds;
and for the healing of our own enmity:
so that we may be sources of reconciling love:
peace-makers,
your true daughters and sons.

And in this hope
we dare to pray with Christ
that the time will come
when every child born
will be surrounded by love and security
and grow up in joy and confidence.

We pray for the peace of the world:
not for easy, complacent, uncaring peace,
but your peace,
beyond human understanding,
which still challenges complacency and indifference,
but brings strength to weakness,
joy to grief,
and confident assurance to anxiety.

We pray for the peace that heals,
the peace that comforts,
the peace that brings fulfilment to deep longings,
and enhancement to life's delights.

We ask this peace
for ourselves and all for whom we have special concern:

(Here the intercession book may be read, or people with known needs may be named)

God, give us peace.
If you were to withdraw your love,
there would be no peace for us:
but with you
there is healing;
your rushing mighty Spirit
sends peace flowing through our veins,
to make us dream
and to make dreams come true:
filling bodies with strength,
spirits with hope,
and our whole being
with the certainty of eternal joy.

Let it be so, Lord,
for us,
all those for whom we pray,
and for every living creature:
until none shall hurt and none destroy,
and the earth is filled
with intimate knowledge of you,
as we have received you,
in Jesus Christ our Lord

INTERCESSION 2

Great God, you wrap us round with love,
like a mighty, gentle mother,
and you carry us like a strong and tender father,
setting us on our feet
to be your free, mature and joyful daughters and sons.

Now, in our weakness, we pray to you
because we cannot come through life’s troubles unscathed;
and, with souls and bodies stressed and strained,
we cannot meet each other’s needs without your Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit, come with healing power;
Spirit, gift of Christ, fill us with us God's love.

Great God, we come to you with the resurrected Christ,
who bore the weight of human flesh and blood to Calvary, for your love's sake;
and even now, as conqueror of death,
he pleads with you for all your suffering children.

Holy Spirit, come with healing power;
Spirit, gift of Christ, fill us with us God's love.

We join our prayers to the prayers of Christ
for those we know who are ill or troubled,
and for all your suffering children who are beyond our reach of mind:
we know that all are brought home to your heart
in the prayers of Christ
and in the silent intercessions of your Spirit,
who comes from your deep heart to ours,
and returns again to you with all our deepest longings.

Holy Spirit, come with healing power;
Spirit, gift of Christ, fill us with us God's love.

Heal us and help us, comfort and strengthen us, deepen our joy.
Let our love reflect your might tenderness and serve you healing gentleness.

Holy Spirit, come with healing power;
Spirit, gift of Christ, fill us with us God's love.

Eternal God, there is great longing in the world;
people are desperate because of the suffering they endure.
Earth cries out for peace; oppressed people cry for justice;
women, men and children weep in sorrow and pain.
How can we have any hope for the world,
unless you are with us?
Through all the mystery of pain, sorrow and human vulnerability,
we dare to believe that you are on our side,
that your love for us is greater than ours for you or for each other.
Call us, then, to prophesy!

By the lives we live, by our patience, by our compassion,
by our belief in the future you will make for us,
let your Church proclaim the great things you are doing,
with hope for the nations of the world,
for every person born, and every living creature.

Holy Spirit, come with healing power;
Spirit, gift of Christ, fill us with us God's love.

So, Living God, let praise begin, here and now with us,
welling up from our hearts,
rising towards the skies,
until praise fills the universe and joy is unconfined:
as you delight in us and we delight in you, for evermore

COMMITTMENT

Gift Giving Holy Spirit,
work your power in us,
and make yourself known among us
by the gifts we share.

Above all, give us the gift of love:
the love of Eternal God,
which we see in Jesus,
led by you,
going to be crucified;
and which we see again, triumphant,
in Jesus, brought by you into resurrection glory.

Make us your peace makers,
true daughters and sons of God,
breaking down division,
pointing always, by the way we live,
to the ultimate reconciliation of the whole creation.

Now send us out
to speak in ways that people understand,
to serve in ways that heal broken hearts and hurt minds,
so that by our lives
and who we are becoming with you,
at last the world may see and praise
the great things God has done:
in Jesus Christ our Lord

PRAISE

Loving God,
we resist,
we twist and turn and writhe
under the burden which you lay on us;
but your rushing spirit,
whistles by us like the wind:
sometimes a great gale,
from which we want to shelter;
sometimes a gentle breeze,
barely felt,
hardly heard,
and yet influencing everything.

And we are here, today,
where you are worshipped
because by the persistence of your Spirit,
the Church goes on being,
and we go on being called
to seek until we find,
the love which has already found and claimed us.

We praise you,
that you never leave us
without the Comforter,
the Strengthener,
the Challenger,
and that you have also given us each other,
to comfort, strengthen and challenge.

We are never alone.

The Encounters of Christian love
may lead us on uncertain
and unknown ways,
but we are surrounded
by the prayers of Christ,
and all our fellow Christians;
and the Holy Spirit pleads
from our deepest being,
with love to your love:
the love which makes us strangely strange,
with a strangeness that will not be strange at all,
when earth sees you as you really are,
and knows for sure that it is your love
that gives meaning to everything!

Then your Rushing Spirit
will inspire eternal praise:
the ultimate fulfilment
of the praise we offer now,
to you, Living God,
our joy, our life, our crown:
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

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