Day 1 – Ascension - 24-7 Prayer International

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  • Thy Kingdom Come
    Thy Kingdom Come
    Thy Kingdom Come: Episode 1

    Day 1 – Ascension

    Today is Thursday the 26th of May, and for the next eleven days we are joining with Christians around the world for the global prayer initiative, Thy Kingdom Come.

    Between now and Pentecost Sunday, each Lectio 365 Morning Prayer will include an insight from the Most Revd Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Anglican Communion around the world. Together we are asking God to empower us afresh by His Spirit to be effective witnesses for Jesus.

    Pause

    As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly, to re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God.

    Pause and pray

    Prayer of Approach

    Creator God, who formed humanity from dust, breathe in me again. Revive me and sanctify me by the power of Your Spirit. Set my heart on fire with the good news of Your gospel.

    Rejoice and Reflect

    I choose to rejoice in the reassurance that God hears my prayers today, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 27…

    Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
        while I am here in the land of the living.
    Wait patiently for the Lord.
        Be brave and courageous.
        Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

    Psalm 27:13-14 (NLT)
    Pause and pray

    On this day, millions of Christians worldwide are remembering the moment when the resurrected Jesus ascended to heaven. Today I reflect on this incredible event by listening to the final words Jesus spoke to His disciples…

    ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight…

    Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying… They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

    Acts 1:4b, 8-9 & 12-14 (NIVUK)

    The disciples’ entire lives had been shaken. Jesus’ resurrection had defeated sin and death for good, but now He was leaving. What were they supposed to do? I’m not sure whether I would have been more tempted to rush off and tell everyone what had happened, or go home and sleep for a week. But in the midst of the uncertainty, Jesus’ closest friends did neither. Instead of rushing or retreating they chose to obediently do the last thing Jesus asked of them: return to Jerusalem and wait.

    Ask

    What was the last thing God asked me to do? Maybe it was a command I read in the Bible, direction I received through prayer or something else.

    Have I done what God asked?

    Pause and pray

    The Holy Spirit empowered the disciples and now empowers the whole Church to be effective witnesses for Jesus; testifying about all He’s done. 

    Jesus, please give me the names of five people who don’t know You; friends and family I can be a witness to. Every day for the next 11 days, I commit to praying for each one by name…

    Pause and pray

    Yield

    As I return to the passage, I open my ears to hear Your word, and my heart to yield to Your will once again.

    ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight…

    Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

    Acts 1:4b, 8-9 & 12-14 (NIVUK)

    ‘The instruction to wait for the Holy Spirit is so important because without the Spirit’s empowering presence, it is impossible to be a faithful witness to Christ. We need this gift of the Father to be the people Christ is calling us to be. The Spirit then isn’t for some private experience, but for the sake of our life for Christ in the world.’ *

    Pause and pray

    Yielding Prayer

    God, I know I need Your empowering presence today, so I won’t wait until Pentecost Sunday. Instead I start with a simple but powerful prayer… Come Holy Spirit.

    Yielding Promise

    And now, as I prepare to take this time of prayer into the coming day, the Lord who loves me says in Joel: 

    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
    Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
        your old men will dream dreams,
        your young men will see visions.
    Even on my servants, both men and women,
        I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

    Joel 2:28-29 (NIVUK)

    Closing Prayer

    Father, help me to live this day to the full, 
     being true to You, in every way.
    Jesus, help me to give myself away to others, 
     being kind to everyone I meet. 
    Spirit, help me to love the lost,
    proclaiming Christ in all I do and say. 
    Amen.

    *Archbishop Justin Welby, Thy Kingdom Come Novena Reflections on 1 Peter, PDF introduction

    For more information and further prayer resources visit Thy Kingdom Come 

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    Episode 2
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    Day 3 – Longing
    Episode 3
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    Day 4 – Spiritual Milk
    Episode 4
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    Day 5 – Build Your House
    Episode 5
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    Day 6 – The Chosen
    Episode 6
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    Day 7 – Unfading Beauty
    Episode 7
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    Day 8 – Suffering
    Episode 8
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    Day 9 – Life to the Dead
    Episode 9
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    Day 10 – Come, Holy Spirit
    Episode 10
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    Day 11 – Pentecost Sunday
    Episode 11