The wonderful stain glass window at Mountainside
Lutheran Church here in Auckland. Thank you for
allowing me to photograph and use it.
This is a prayer of thanksgiving and confession for Pentecost Sunday this year. As I reflected on the passage from Acts 2... I couldn't help but think of the difference of seeing a God who is 'way out there' above and beyond and what Pentecost tells us about God's (address as it were) with and 'with in us' God has always been with his people. through his promises to Abraham, Moses and though the leaders and prophets he sent to guide Israel to be faithful. Then that with us took on a whole new dimension and fulfillment in Jesus Christ, he came and dwelt amongst us, finally that with the sending of the Holy Spirit God came to dwell within us.
I borrowed some language from a Laidlaw College public lecture given by Justin Duckworth, the Anglican Bishop of Wellington, for the confession part of this prayer. He called the church in the west compromised, flabby and idolatrous... and it has challengingly stuck with me.
The prayer for God to fill us afresh with his Holy Spirit is a reflection of the promises in Joel chapter 2.
finally I felt it was important at Pentecost to pray specifically for a renewal of our evangelism as we remember the Holy Spirit was sent in power to enable Jesus followers then and know to be his witnesses. I borrowed it from a Church of England (help help I'm turning Anglican...) initiative, called 'thy kingdom come' of a week of concerted prayer for revival leading up to Pentecost this year.
Almighty and Holy God,
Eternal creator of that there is
Sovereign in all time and every place
Today we come to give you praise
Specifically to give thanks that you are not an aloof God
You are not just way out there, unreachable, unknowable and uncaring
Rather that you draw near and are with and within us by the Holy Spirit
We thank you that you were with your people Israel
They were yours and you are their God
You heard their suffering and spoke to Moses through the burning bush
You Sent him to tell pharaoh to let my people go’
You lead them in the wilderness by cloud and fiery pillar
Established them in the land you had promised to their ancestor Abraham
You raised up leaders and prophets to call them back to you
We thank you that you stepped down into our world,
In Christ the word became flesh and dwelt amongst us
That in him we beheld and received your grace and truth
We thank you that in Christ ‘ you took our place’
Christ’s death on the cross paid the price for what we had done wrong
We thank you that in his resurrection you made a way for us
That we can pass from our dead life into new, full and eternal life
Today we especially thank you for sending your Spirit upon us
You fulfilled your promise to dwell within us by the Holy Spirit
To place a new heart within us; of flesh not stone
You bring Jesus words to us and lead us into all truth
As we walk with you, by the Spirit, you nurture Christ like-fruit in our lives
You empower us to witness to the hope we have found in Christ
You enable us to demonstrate your love and power
God who is with and for us
We confess we have done wrong, and left good undone
We confess we have found our vision full of the things of this world
We have eaten our fill with it and lost our hunger for you
We have allowed ourselves to worship the same things as our neighbours’
We are guilty of being compromised, flabby and idolatrous
Forgive us we pray, graciously God and restore us again
God who forgives and makes new
Fill us afresh with your Holy Spirit today: pour it out on us
May we be so full of your living word that we speak it forth
May we be so full of the abiding presence of Christ
That our imagination and dreams are renewed and emboldened
That our vision of what is and what is possible may conform to your will
That through your work in us ‘all who call on the name of the Lord would be saved ‘
This is a prayer from the 'Thy kingdom come' in the Church of England That I think is so important for us as a church today…as we remember God empowering his disciples to witness to him it's a prayer for the renewal of evangelism
We thank you that you have brought us to know and recognise you Through our Lord Jesus Christ.
We thank you for those who shared the Gospel of Jesus with us.
We ask that in turn we may pass the Good News on to others.
Give us confidence to speak of you,
Sensitivity to walk with others on their journey,
And love to inspire us to reach out to others.
Most of all, give us a passion to see your Kingdom come,
That we might take risky steps
To be your witnesses to your world.
Through your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Both panels of the stain glass window in the chapel at Mountainside Lutheran Church.
The water and the Spirit.