Living, loving Father,
The work of Your hands is evident all around us. Regardless of whether we are looking at land or sea, at large creatures or small ones, everywhere we look, we see Your work, and we bless You.
We, and all creation, are satisfied when You open Your hands to us, for You fill us with the things we need to live fully in You.
Even when we, along with all of creation, feel like we are desperate for things to be made right, we also know- because we have experienced it ourselves- that when Your Spirit comes, Your life is renewed in us and in our world.
So many kinds of works are done among us through Your Spirit, yet even in the great variety of the works, we see unity. You unify us with one another; You use the gifts that You have given us to achieve Your loving purpose; You make our character more like Yours; and we see the deep love that has been exchanged for all eternity between You, Your Spirit, and Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
It was He who invited us to quench our thirst by coming and drinking rivers of living water through Your Spirit. So, to His honor and Your glory, we pray that Your Spirit would soon be poured out upon every person, young and old, free and enslaved, so that everyone may call upon Your name and fully experience the life You have intended for us all.
It was Your Son who promised us this Spirit, who has sent Him to us, and it is as His students that we pray the prayer He taught us, saying,
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are Yours now and for ever. Amen
Pentecost Sunday is the final Sunday of the season of Easter, and it is on this day that we remember and celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit with power upon Jesus' disciples fifty days after his resurrection. The readings for this week, on which this prayer is based, are:
- Acts 2:1-21: This is the final of eight consecutive weeks (from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday) when our reading that would normally come from the Old Testament comes instead from the Book of Acts. This passage recounts the story of the disciples being together in one place on the day of Pentecost, when Jews from "every country" were making pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Suddenly, a sound like a violent wind came, tongues of fire rested on each of the disciples, and they had the ability to speak in the native languages of all who could hear them. (This is a Pentecost reading for years A, B, and C.)
- Psalm 104:24-34, 35b: A psalm of praise to God for his handiwork displayed in every part of creation, and a recognition that although dismaying sights are present, "when [God sends] forth [his] spirit, they are created; and [he] will renew the face of the ground." (This is a Pentecost reading for years A, B, and C.)
- 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13: Paul's teaching that although there are a variety of gifts, services, and activities, they are given and activated by one and the same Spirit, so that we may function together as many members within one body.
- John 7:37-39: Jesus' public invitation on the last day of the Festival of Booths, which drew on imagery of water, for anyone who was thirsty to come to him and receive rivers of living water, which John explains was said in reference to the Spirit.