A Litany for Ascension

Note: This litany has been adapted from Psalm 20:6, Revelation 5:12, and Romans 8:34.

Loving God, merciful Father, we wonder at your surpassing goodness, but we are discouraged by the evil we see in this world and in ourselves. We long to be your humble and faithful servants, but we always fall short. Even when we think we are doing your will, we are often deceived. How long before you bring an end to the world’s suffering?

How long, O Lord?

Amidst wars and conflicts, acts of hatred and violence, we wonder how we will ever hear your gentle whisper.

How long, O Lord?

We are driven and pulled under by our evil desires. We attempt to resist, but we fail utterly.

How long, O Lord?

We see hurting children and grieving parents, friendships broken and families torn apart, and we feel helpless.

Hear our prayers, O God of mercy.

How long, O Lord, how long?

[Moment of silence]

Then I heard a voice singing: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain. For Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”

Now, this is our assurance: Christ Jesus took on human flesh and became like one of us. And when he descended into hell, he gathered all of our sins to himself, taking away our burden of guilt. Then, after he rose from the dead, his perfect, resurrected body ascended into heaven, reuniting perfectly with the Father.

For, being fully God, Christ is not a sinful priest who must be purified. But being fully human, he understands our desires, our needs, our sorrow. He withstood temptation and suffering, and he receives our prayers with absolute empathy.

Hear our requests, perfect Savior, and receive our humble confessions. May the words of our prayers be a pleasing sound to the Father’s ears, through your intercession.

We trust in your unfailing love, Lord Jesus. We rejoice in your salvation. As we patiently await your coming again, let us act on the love you have shown us and the gift you have promised. For we know that when you ascended, you did not leave us. You promised your Spirit to guide and protect us.

May your church grow until the establishment of your kingdom here on earth. May we rejoice in your patient kindness and steadfast love. And may we remember your promises when all else fails.

Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he answers them from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand.

Praise be to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Calvin Brondyk 

Reformed Worship 95 © March 2010, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.