Join the Church in prayer on Pentecost Sunday

This Sunday (23 May), as Pentecost takes place, Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Dove flying in the sky

As with previous weeks during lockdown, 15 Christian churches and organisations across the country, including the Church of Scotland, have co-signed the letter calling for prayer.

Scottish Christians have been continuing to answer the call to pray at the same time each week, and the outgoing Moderator, Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, has been taking part alongside them.

“Too often, different parts of the Christian Church have allowed themselves to become distant from one another. They’ve looked at certain doctrinal or liturgical matters in different ways and have allowed those differences to become divisive,” Dr Fair said.

“But we can, and should, all pray together. And when we do, we find that some of these differences that seemed important begin to diminish in significance.

“Through the pandemic we have prayed each Sunday evening at 7pm and we’ve done it together. We’ve been united in praying for the country and in praying for the life and mission of the whole Church.

“Jesus’ final prayer when with his disciples was, ‘My prayer for all those who believe in me is that they shall be one.’

“We’ve demonstrated that by our shared prayer. Let it continue to be so.”

Next week’s prayer will be led by incoming Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Lord Wallace.

This week’s letter accompanying the prayer, which is also available in Gaelic, states:

“The Gospel of John speaks of the One who is to come and of the One who is to go. Jesus is the One who is to go and He must do so first.

“On hearing this, the disciples of Jesus are filled with sorrow and He explains to them that ‘if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you’. The disciples fear that they will be left bereft and Jesus reassures them that His absence will be filled by the outpouring of ‘the Spirit of truth’. The Spirit is the One who is to come and Jesus is the One who is to go. (John 15: 26-27; 16: 4b-15)

“Who is the Spirit who is to come? In the Gospel of John, the word used to describe the Spirit is variously translated as ‘Advocate’, ‘Comforter’, ‘Counsellor’, ‘Helper’ or simply transliterated as ‘Paraclete’. (John 15: 26) The word used is found in only one other place in the New Testament outside the Gospel and here it is used to describe Jesus. Jesus is the One who stands before the Father and pleads for us. (1 John 2: 1)

“On this Pentecost Sunday, we give thanks to God for the Spirit outpoured on the people of God. The Spirit comes to be the abiding presence of God in our lives and in the life of the people of God. We give thanks that the Spirit is the One who has come.”

We pray:

Living God
And Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Pour out Your Spirit upon us
And fill the hearts of Your faithful people.
May Your Spirit come as the One who speaks for us
And advocates on our behalf.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God
And Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Pour out Your Spirit upon us
And kindle in us the fire of Your love.
May your Spirit comfort us in our sorrow
And strengthen us in our weakness
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God
And Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Pour out Your Spirit upon us
And create Your people anew.
May Your Spirit come to counsel and direct us
And grant to us wisdom in all we face.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God
And Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Pour out Your Spirit upon us
And renew the face of all the earth.
May Your Spirit help us to care for Creation
And to live as those who cherish the gifts You have given.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God
And Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Pour out Your Spirit upon us
And set us free to worship and glorify Your Name.
Come, Holy Spirit,
And fill our hearts with love for You.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

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