A Week of Prayers in Preparation for Pentecost
Today is celebrated as Ascension Sunday in many churches, when we remember that Jesus took his throne on the right hand of God the Father. He told his disciples that they should wait in Jerusalem after the ascension for the promised Holy Spirit. In Acts we read that they gathered in an upper room and devoted themselves to prayer during that waiting period.
As I preach today I will encourage the church to make this a week of waiting in prayer in preparation for Pentecost as well. And I prepared prayers for them, with associated scriptures, to use Monday through Friday. Perhaps these can be useful for you too, as we devote this week to asking God for the gift of his Spirit (Luke 11:13)
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Promise: And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” (Luke 11:9-13)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, you are good and give good gifts to your children. The best gift of all is your presence, love, and power in my life. Come, Holy Spirit, and fill me!
Promise: One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.” (Luke 3:21-22)
Prayer: Father, as Jesus was praying at his baptism, you poured out your Spirit upon him and claimed him as your own beloved child. As I remember and thank you for my baptism into Christ today, reassure me of your love and presence with me. Come, Holy Spirit!
Promise: And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven. Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. (Luke 24:49-52)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you instructed your disciples to wait for the Spirit, to watch and pray. Teach me the patience of praying and waiting. Fill my life as you filled theirs, and bless your church with power from on high. Come, Holy Spirit!
Promise: God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today. (Acts 2:32-33)
Prayer: Jesus, you are King of all, seated at God’s right hand. As you poured out your Spirit upon those gathered on the Day of Pentecost, fill me today, that I too may be a good ambassador for our King. Come, Holy Spirit!
Promise: Be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:18-21)
Prayer: Loving God, revive me. Revive your church. Fill us with your Spirit. Write new songs in our hearts. Fill us with gratitude, contentment, and joy. Teach us to love and serve you, one another, and our neighbors. Come Holy Spirit, blow fresh winds of renewal through our lives!