It’s the 5th of June and today we celebrate Pentecost Sunday. For the past ten days we’ve been part of the prayer movement Thy Kingdom Come.
Millions of Christians around the world have been crying out to God, asking Him to empower us, by His Spirit, to be effective witnesses for Jesus. Today, on this special day of rest, we remember the moment the Spirit was poured out on the Church and welcome God’s presence afresh into our hearts and homes.
As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly, to re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God.
I choose to rejoice today in God’s majesty, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 104…
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…
Let all that I am praise the LORD.Psalm 104:1-4 (NLT)
O LORD my God, how great you are!
You are robed with honor and majesty.
You are dressed in a robe of light.
You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens;
you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds.
You make the clouds your chariot;
you ride upon the wings of the wind.
The winds are your messengers;
flames of fire are your servants.
Today I reflect on the story of Pentecost when the promised Holy Spirit fell on the disciples…
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.Acts 2:1-4 (NIVUK)
I often long for an encounter with God as dramatic as this Pentecost moment, but it’s easy to forget what happened before the Spirit came. The first believers were all together in one place because they had been persistently praying for ten days. Jesus had promised that God would send the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5), so, in prayer, they obediently waited and prepared themselves to receive.
Thank You, Father, that the same Spirit that fell on these first believers is with me now. On this very special day, at the culmination of ten days of Thy Kingdom Come prayer, I cry, ‘Come, Holy Spirit!’
Empowered by the Spirit, the first followers of Jesus were propelled out from their place of prayer to tell thousands about Jesus.
God, we need Your Spirit to empower us for mission today! I name my church and the churches in my area – send us Your Spirit and give us courage to share the good news of Jesus with our neighbours.
I think of the five people who don’t know Jesus that I have been praying for during Thy Kingdom Come.
Father, I ask You to empower me to be Your witness to them this week. I name each person before You and ask You to draw them to Your Son…
Today, instead of returning to the same verses, I reflect on the next part of the Pentecost story. I notice the response of the crowds who witnessed the Spirit-filled followers of Jesus bursting out onto the streets of Jerusalem…
Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?
…Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, ‘What does this mean?’Acts 2:5-8, 12 (NIVUK)
‘The confusion on the streets of Jerusalem reminds me of the story of the Tower of Babel. In Genesis 11 I read about a community of people who tried to make a name for themselves by building a tower, but they were scattered in confusion as God turned one language into many. At Pentecost, a community of people, acting in the name of Jesus, miraculously spoke many languages – making the good news understandable and accessible to all.’
And so, as Your people gather around the world today, I thank You, Lord, for Your beautiful, multicultural, intergenerational family. Revive us, sanctify us and unite us once again I pray. Forgive our many sins and make us holy. Set our hearts on fire again with the good news of Your gospel.
And now, as I prepare to take this time of prayer into the coming day, the Lord who loves me says in Luke’s Gospel:
…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.’Acts 1:8 (NIVUK)
Father, help me to live this day to the full,
May this day bring Sabbath rest to my heart and my home.
May God’s image in me be restored, and my imagination in God be re-storied.
May the gravity of material things be lightened, and the relativity of time slow down.
May I know grace to embrace my own finite smallness in the arms of God’s infinite greatness.
May God’s Word feed me and his Spirit lead me into the week and into the life to come.*
*Pete Greig, A Sabbath Blessing, www.petegreig.info
For more information and further prayer resources visit Thy Kingdom Come.