A Prayer for Pentecost

pentecost-2012Luke writes, “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.”[1]

“O God of earth and altar,”[2] of blessing and sacrifice, our “living hope”[3] in a dying world, we come with wringing hands, clenched fists and sweaty palms— all expecting to receive but not wanting to sacrifice much. Afraid of the cost of discipleship, we back away from our cross.

We confess that sometimes, we have come with full cups not to be filled to overflowing but to quench Your spirit, to smother the flame of Your presence during times of grief and loss, sickness and death, conflict and frustration, guilt and shame. Confusing the heat with harm, we have delayed the purification of Your holiness and righteousness. We confess that we are smoldering with apathy or that we want to burn for You and have come for a divine encounter with the Light that will strike a match within our souls.

We are so grateful to sit in Your house and listen for the sound from heaven. We are so thankful that You pour out Your Spirit upon all flesh: broken and whole, ill and well, young and old, affluent and impoverished, marginalized and centered in our society.

We ask that while we sit, You would fill the house with the fresh wind of Your presence, that You would blow upon our lives and the lives of those we love, play and work with. We ask You to blow upon the lives of those who serve us for good or ill. Breathe on those who cannot catch a break but are met with disappointment, death and disaster again and again. Breathe on those who cannot catch their breath due to the attacks of panic and fear. And increase in us an awareness of the breath- taking moments in our lives, filled Your goodness, mercy and glory.

Let us leave our service of worship as translators of Your presence in the language of our neighbor, sharing in Pentecost. In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen.

___________________

[1] Acts of the Apostles 2.1-2

[2] This is the opening line of a poem by G. K. Chesterton.

[3] First Peter 1.3

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