Ascension to Pentecost 2021 - May 13 to May 23
From Ascension Day, with a service led by Rev. David at 7pm on Zoom, we are embarking on nine days of Prayer finishing on Pentecost Sunday, May 23rd with services in churches and a Zoom at 11 am.
Our hopes are threefold:
To join in prayer and feel connected with the whole family of God the Father
To pray for the empowering of God the Holy Spirit
That we may be effective witnesses to God the Son, Jesus Christ.
To enable this to happen we believe there will be prayer in homes, offices, churches, places of work, in schools, in all kinds of places. There will be silent prayers, prayers of individuals, prayers spoken or recited, church prayers, group prayers, the words, thoughts and reflections that will demonstrate and express our love for God and his beloved world.
Almighty God, your ascended
Son has sent us into the world
to preach the good news of your kingdom:
inspire us with your Spirit
and fill our hearts with the fire of your love,
that all who hear your Word
may be drawn to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This year, we will be using some of the psalms as a structure and guide for our prayer and reflection, holding on to the thought that ‘God has willed to make himself known in the mystery of the psalms.’ [Thomas Merton, Praying the Psalms]
In order to do this, you might like to think of each of our psalms as a conversation, often with several voices. Usually, though not always, God is there. Then there are the human voices, the praise singers and complainants, the rested and the discouraged, the angry and the forgiving. And thirdly, there is your voice, silent or urgent. The question remains: whose are the many human voices that we hear in our chosen psalm, whether we recognize them as friends or foes, neighbours or strangers, people we pray for often or those we have never thought of praying for, praying for the greatest gift of them knowing Christ for themselves?
Sometimes the conversation in a psalm is straightforward. At other times it may feel like a babble, with voices talking across or against each other. Our task – the discipline we might undertake during these days – is to carry out a kind of spiritual eavesdropping! As with any kind of ‘listening in’, we try not to analyse or jump to conclusions, simply wanting to be there, to be present with God, for the world. In particular, we may want to look for places in our daily psalm where we can hear the voice of our friend or family member.
As we listen patiently, certain voices come to the fore while others fade. The task for us who pray the psalms is to hold the insistent voices in our hands, lift them up to God with tears or laughter and stay there until God bids us go. Each day, there will be a psalm, some text and a picture.
The opening and closing days of Ascension and Pentecost are like bookends to the nine days of prayer in between, setting the theme and drawing it to a close. The picture does not illustrate the psalm, but may help enrich your prayer. Enjoy it, use it, or ignore it. But whatever you do, enjoy praying!
You can join us as we walk together in prayer by using the resources here.
Events on Zoom can be joined here.
Events posted on YouTube can be viewed here.