Prayers and a Banner for Pentecost

LORD OF THE WINDS AND FIRES OF EARTH

You are the breath and the fire
with which the word of God is spoken,

The wind on which the Gospel is borne
anywhere and to anyone in the world.

It is your work and the wonder of your inspiration whenever people experience that Jesus lives.

That we follow him, that he becomes our way,
that men and women acknowledge that he is worth
all the trouble that this life can bring—
this is your enthusiasm and your power in us.

You are the life-giving Spirit that frees us,
dangerous and compelling
for those who cling to worldly goods and ties of blood.

You are both promise and uncertainty,
both poverty and grace.

We pray to you: give us life,
as you raised Jesus, our brother,
to life from the dead.

Make us fire of your fire,
light of your light,
as the Son of Man, Jesus,
is light of the eternal light in you
and God of God,
today and every day,
for ever and ever.

Amen.

—Taken from Be Our Freedom Lord, Terry C. Falla, ed.
(Grand Rapids, Eerdrnans, 1985), p. 275. © 1981
Used by permission of W. B. Eerdrnans Publishing.

BREATH OF OUR LIFE

You are built upon the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, the cornerstone being Christ Jesus himself.
—Ephesians 2:20

Eternal God, holy Father,
our origin, our destiny, depth of our being,
breath of our life, who ever delights
in the worship and service of your children,
be pleased to pour your Holy Spirit upon us.

As your Spirit came upon your prophets and wise men of old, grant us your Spirit of truth and understanding that we may know your ways and walk in them.

As your Spirit came upon Christ at the Jordan,
grant us your Spirit of power and consecration
that we may enter into the ministry
and victory of your Son.

As your Spirit came upon your church in Jerusalem, grant us your Spirit of grace and love that our lives may more fully reflect your glory and that the world might believe, to the honor of your name.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

—Taken from Be Our Freedom Lord, Terry C. Falla, ed.
(Grand Rapids, Eerdrnans, 1985), p. 279. © 1981, used
by permission of W. B. Eerdrnans Publishing.

A RESPONSIVE PRAYER FOR THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

We remember today how the coming of God's Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost changed the lives of the disciples.
Loving Lord God,
Thank you for the joy of the disciples.
We need the gift of joy:

Give us your Spirit, Lord.

Thank you for the courage of the disciples.
We need the gift of courage:

Give us your Spirit, Lord.

Thank you for the goodness and unselfishness of the disciples.
We need these gifts:

Give us your Spirit, Lord.

Thank you for the way the disciples spread the good news of your love.
We need to be your messengers:

Give us your Spirit, Lord.

Thank you for the disciples' certainty that Jesus would always be with them.
We need his friendship and help:

Give us your Spirit, Lord.

Lord, help us to feel your living Spirit present with us as we worship and at all times. Amen.

—From Prayers for Today's Church by f. D. Serle,
copyright © 2972 R.H.L. Williams. Reprinted
from the 1977 Augsburg Publishing House
edition by permission of Augsburg Fortress.

PENTECOST BANNER

The banner above was created by Beatrice Thomasma and her fifth and sixth grade church school class at the West Park Christian Reformed Church in Cleveland, Ohio. Thomasma writes:

The idea came from an illustration in one of their Bible Guide papers on the fruits of the Spirit. The completed banner measures 26" X 55", not including the hems at the top and bottom (used as casing for wooden dowels).

For the background we used a remnant of upholstery fabric. I asked each student to make a fruit on a patch of felt. Some printed with felt-tip markers, some used yarn—whatever they chose. This was a one-week home assignment.

Meanwhile, I cut the tree trunk from brown felt and glued it in place on the background—a remnant of upholstery fabric. I also made the dove, using two layers of white felt, slightly filled, and zig-zag stitched the edges and detail.

In one class session, we positioned the fruit and dove. I laid out various shades of green felt, and the kids cut out leaves and glued them around the fruit, leaving space for the dove. Some of the students volunteered to cut out the letters and numbers from brown felt.

The banner has hung in the foyer of West Park CRC for some years with no repairs!

O SPIRIT OF GOD

O Spirit of God,
you are a fire cleansing and consuming,

you are a dove coming from on high,

you are a still small voice,

you are everywhere,

you are in us and about us,

you have prompted our faith,

you have suggested our good works,

you have formed us into your people,

you have built the church on earth,

you are a fire,

you are a dove,

you are a still small voice,

and we listen for you and we follow you,
lest we turn aside into the ways of darkness.

Move in and through your church.
Set it to the preaching of the gospel
and the doing of your will.
Where it is narrow,enlarge its vision.
Where it is weary, restore its strength.
Where it is wrong, give it sense.

Surge within the lives of your people in every place.
Spur them to visit the sick and the imprisoned,
to care for the needy and the underprivileged,
to right the wrongs done by the accidents of life,
to encourage each other in the doing of love.

Even when people refuse to believe,
work within them to the good of others.
Be the power behind all thrones
and offices and headquarters.
Be the thrust of society,
a force for the virtues of our race.

And set us,
God,
to reaching for high goals,
to noble and helpful purposes,
to the improvement of our world
and the improvement of our lives.
Prevent us from being discouraged,
and let us see visions of the world as it could be,
in peace and prosperity
by commitment to Jesus Christ,
who lives and rules with you and the father,
one God forever. Amen.

—From Prayers for Public Worship by Carl T. Uehling,
copyright © 1972 Fortress Press. Reprinted by
permission of Augsburg Fortress.

Reformed Worship 19 © March 1991 Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church. Used by permission.

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