A Prayer for Pentecost

Adapted from Acts 1:8 and Acts 2:1-4, 17-21

Updated April 2024

When the day of Pentecost came, the twelve disciples, now with Matthias, were together in one place. Suddenly, a sound like a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house. And they saw what looked like tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.

On this day of Pentecost, we remember Christ’s great promise to us. Before he ascended from the earth, he said to the disciples:

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and to the ends of the earth.

Thank you, Father, for this place to gather and your Spirit who gathers us. May we accept your gift with grace and wisdom, hope and fearlessness. Give us strength and wisdom to act on your will.

And on this day, we marvel at the possibilities of God’s Holy Spirit here with us.

For in the last days, says the prophet Joel, the Lord will show wonders in the heavens and signs on the earth below: blood, fire, smoke, a darkened sun, and a moon turned to blood.

God Almighty, we are humbled in your awesome presence. We are reminded of our weakness, our insignificance. Ashamed, we pray for mercy.

But on this day, we remember the sacrifice that made this gift possible: the perfect Lamb who was slain, the blood that was spilled, the curtain that was torn in two. And we remember the stone that was rolled away.

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Praise be to the Father, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and holy is your precious Spirit. For we were lost in the depths, but you have found us and invited us to your table. Now we are bearers of your holy Name.

And on this day, through the prompting of the Holy Spirit within us, we put aside our grievances. We reach out to those around us. We lift up our talents and gifts. We ask to be filled and then poured out. We are no longer satisfied with a life not lived abundantly.

I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters, they will prophesy. The young will see visions; the old, they will have dreams. I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and you will prophesy.

Lord, we receive your gift with patient anticipation. Make us the hands and feet of your invisible Spirit, and like your Spirit, make us invisible, so that the light of Christ Jesus may shine through us.

And all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Lord, give us the ability to speak not in languages of hate or greed, complacency or discontent, but in love and peace, mercy and kindness; in generosity and benevolence, in humility and patience, and in truthful words of encouragement.

On this day of Pentecost, may the moving of your Spirit not be to us a chasing after the wind, but a warm breeze of hope. May the Church act as one body to bring love, joy, and your holy truth to every generation and people. And may we also have the wisdom to receive these things graciously.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.

Praise and glory, honor and thanks be to the Father, and to Christ Jesus, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Calvin Brondyk 

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