UNITED IN PRAYER
A PRAYER RESOURCE FOR FAMILIES, INDIVIDUALS AND HOUSEHOLDS.
Today we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Pentecost is known as the birthday of the church. Pentecost is a particularly special feast for us as a Diocese, because of the Holy Spirit which we are consecrated to and which our Cathedral is named after.
Take a moment to still yourself. Take a deep breath and ask God for a renewed sense of presence with you in this moment.
O God, who by the mystery of today’s great feast sanctify your whole Church in every people and nation, pour out, we pray, the gifts of the Holy Spirit across the face of the earth and, with the divine grace that was at work when the Gospel was first proclaimed, fill now once more the hearts of believers.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen
Sing or listen
It was evening on the day Jesus rose from the dead,
the first day of the week,
and the doors of the house where the disciples had met
were locked for fear of the Jews.
Jesus came and stood among them and said,
“Peace be with you.”
After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again,
“Peace be with you.
As the Father sent me, so I send you.”
When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them;
if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
What do you remember from today’s reading?
The disciples were alone and afraid, because their friend Jesus, who they knew was the Son of God, had been put to death.
Suddenly Jesus appeared to them. What did Jesus say to the disciples?
And how did the disciples feel when they saw Jesus again?
The disciples were filled with joy. Jesus repeated the words “Peace be with you.”
What happened next? Jesus breathed on the disciples and gave them the Holy Spirit. He told the disciples he was sending them out to spread his word.
The disciples had been sad, lonely and frightened. How do you think they felt after Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit onto them?
The disciples were filled with joy, hope and courage to go out and spread the word of God. God’s special message of peace for all people.
The Holy Spirit gives the disciples the courage to see that they can do what Jesus asks of them.
What does Jesus ask us to do? How does Jesus want us to behave and to treat other people?
Jesus asks us to do the same as the disciples – to spread his message of peace to all people through what we do.
Can you think how you might do this? And how does the Holy Spirit help us?
The Holy Spirit gives us the courage to answer Jesus’ call, to do what God asks of us even when it is difficult. We each answer that call in a different way, but the Holy Spirit helps and guides us along the way.
This week let’s try to notice the Holy Spirit in our lives, helping us to be brave, and helping us to spread Jesus’ message of peace in our world.
What will you do this week to try and spread peace in our world?
In the First Reading we are presented with the remarkable scene where the disciples receive extraordinary gifts. No matter how we understanding the gift of tongues as described here, we can be sure that the Holy Spirit has given them confidence and courage. How do you feel about sharing your faith with others?
The visitors in Jerusalem hear God’s word preached to them in familiar words that they can understand clearly. Can you remember a time when God has spoken directly to your heart through the Scriptures or some other means? What did God say and how did you respond at that time? Is it the same now?
Jesus promises that God will always give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. The Scriptures list many gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit at work within us and within our world. What gifts do you find yourself wanting to ask for at this moment?
The Prayer for Consecration to the Holy Spirit was written in 1993 and adapted in 2020 for the 40th anniversary of the Diocese of Palmerston North.
we, the people of the Diocese of Palmerston North,
different peoples, one people of God,
give ourselves over to you.
Through you we know God,
for you are the Spirit of God.
You inspire the Scriptures
which show us that God is like a loving, trustworthy father,
a mother who gently gathers her children.
You give us joy in the news of our salvation.
Holy Spirit, work miracles in us,
miracles of conversion, healing and reconciliation;
miracles of new hope, new life and new beginnings.