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Sing 10: The Spirit is Present

"The Spirit is Present” is a service of song and reflection tracing the Holy Spirit’s activity from creation, through redemption, to its work in the world around us and in us. Multiple song suggestions have been provided to reflect a breadth of musical styles. The e-version of this article has links where you can purchase the music, listen to it, and in many cases read background information and performance suggestions. The resources provided here can also be turned into a typical service by focusing on one section and incorporating a sermon on the passage, additional worship elements, and the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

Call to Worship

The Spirit gathers us to worship God
And builds us up in faith, hope, and love
So that we may go into the world to proclaim the gospel
And work for justice and peace.
Let us worship God together.
The Worship Sourcebook (TWS) Q.1.2.6 Belonging to God: Catechism Resources for Worship. p 5 [11], alt. Geneva Press, © 2003, Office of Theology and Worship, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Used by permission.

Sung Response

“Come, Holy Spirit” LUYH 230, SNC 165, WR 127  
“Come, Holy Spirit, Our Souls Inspire” LUYH 231, WR 325 
“O Holy Spirit, Come,” arr. Greg Scheer 
“We Need the Power of the Holy Spirit” LUYH 321 

Opening Prayer

Come, Creator Spirit, and move over this chaotic world.
Come, Creator Spirit, and bring life to this world.
Come, Creator Spirit, and move over the chaos of our lives.
Come, Creator Spirit, and bring us new life. Amen.
RW 35:20

Holy Spirit, Creator,
At the beginning you hovered over the waters;
You breathe life into all creatures.
Come into us, Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit, Comforter,
By you we are born again as children of God;
You make us living temples of your presence;
You pray within us with prayers too deep for words.
Come into us, Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit, Lord and giver of life,
You are light, you bring us light;
You are goodness and the source of all goodness.
Come into us, Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit, breath of life,
You sanctify and breathe life into the whole body of the church;
You dwell in each one of its members;
And you will one day give new life to our mortal bodies.
Come into us, Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Worship Sourcebook (TWS) Q.1.4.8 Copublished by: The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; Faith Alive Christian Resources; Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI ©2013, Faith Alive Christian Resources. All rights reserved. Ecumenical Prayer from France

Opening Songs

“Come, Holy Ghost” LUYH 232 
“Send Us Your Spirit” LUYH 228, SNC 163 
“Spirit, Working in Creation” LUYH 235, PsH 415, WR 128 
“Holy Spirit” by Jesus Culture 

The Spirit is Present in Creation

Scripture Reading

Genesis 1:1–2:3

Idea: Consider using the video “Creation” from Saddleback Kids or “The Gospel Project for Kids Bible Story Video, Creation,” both available on YouTube.

Creation’s Praise to God

“All Creatures of Our God and King,” (st. 1–4, 6) LUYH 551, PH 455, PsH 431, SWM 14, TH 115, WR 23  (Also consider the David Crowder version and the one by West Coast Revival.)

“God of Wonders” LUYH 4  
“Praise the Lord, Sing Hallelujah” LUYH 6, PFAS 976, PsH 188  
“We Worship You, Whose Splendor Dwarfs the Cosmos” LUYH 11 

Scripture Reading

Psalm 104:27–30 or the following litany

Send forth your Spirit, Lord;
renew the face of the earth.

Reader 1: Lord, you have made so many things. How wisely you made them all.Reader 2: The earth is filled with your creatures.
Reader 1: There is the ocean, large and wide,
Reader 2: where countless creatures live, large and small alike.
Reader 1: The ships sail on it, and in it plays Leviathan,
Reader 2: the sea monster that you made.

Send forth your Spirit, Lord;
renew the face of the earth.

Reader 1: All of them depend on you
Reader 2: to give them food when they need it.
Reader 1: You give it to them, and they eat it;
Reader 2: you provide food, and they are satisfied.

Send forth your Spirit, Lord;
renew the face of the earth.

Reader 1: When you turn away, they are afraid;
Reader 2: when you take away their breath, they die and go back to the dust from which they came.
Reader 1: But when you give them breath, they are created;
Reader 2: you give new life to the earth.

Send forth your Spirit, Lord;
renew the face of the earth. Amen.

—based on Psalm 104:24–30, TEV from TWS A.1.4.10

Prayer

How magnificent for us to ponder, triune God of grace,
how your Word spoke creation into being,
how your Spirit breathed life into every living creature.
Receive now our praise in concert
with the symphony of praise
and saints and angels in heaven—
all offered through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
TWS 2nd edition, A.1.4.4

Song of Praise

“Praise the Spirit in Creation” LUYH 236 
“Soplo de Dios/O Living Breath” LUYH 14 
“Lord Send Out Your Spirit,” Rawn Harbor, OCP 

Looking for other Pentecost Songs?

Cardiphonia has gathered a nice collection of newly written or retuned Pentecost songs available for purchase at bandcamp.org. The purchase of Pentecost Songs includes a high-quality download in MP3 and FLAC and a PDF songbook for the entire album with lyrics, chord charts, lead sheets, an article by David Taylor, and some cool art!

What We Believe

Leader: We believe and confess also
that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally
from the Father and the Son—

All: neither made,
nor created,
nor begotten,
but only proceeding
from the two of them.

Leader: In regard to order,
the Spirit is the third person of the Trinity—

All: of one and the same essence,
and majesty,
and glory,
with the Father and the Son,

Leader: being true and eternal God,
as the Holy Scriptures teach us.
—Belgic Confession Article 11: The Deity of the Holy Spirit

Song

“Have Mercy on Us, God Most High” LUYH 13 
“How Great Is Our God” LUYH 574 

The Spirit is Present in the Exodus

Scripture Reading

Numbers 11:16–29

Song of Hope

“Spirit, Spirit, of Gentleness” LUYH 238, WR 326 
“Holy Spirit, Come,” Wendell Kimbrough 

What We Believe

God’s Spirit speaks in the world
according to God’s ultimate word in Christ.
In every time and place,
in ancient cities and distant lands,
in technology and business,
in art and education,
God has not been left without a witness.
The Word has entered where we have failed to go.
Our Songs of Hope, 8, Reformed Church in America

The Spirit is Present in the Prophets

Scripture Reading

Isaiah 61:1–3

What We Believe

The Spirit gathers people
from every tongue, tribe, and nation
into the unity of the body of Christ.
Anointed and sent by the Spirit,
the church is thrust into the world,
ambassadors of God’s peace,
announcing forgiveness and reconciliation,
proclaiming the good news of grace.

Going before them and with them,
the Spirit convinces the world of sin
and pleads the cause of Christ.
Men and women, compelled by the Spirit,
go next door and far away
into science and art,
media and marketplace—
every area of life,
pointing to the reign of God
with what they do and say.
Our World Belongs to God, 30, © Christian Reformed Church in North America

The Spirit is Present in Confession and Assurance

Prayer of Confession

Sovereign Lord,
you have anointed us with your Spirit,
yet we have not shared your great gift.
Create in us a clean heart, O God.
Restore to us the joy of your salvation.

We have not proclaimed your good news to the poor.
We have not bound up the brokenhearted.
Create in us a clean heart, O God.
Restore to us the joy of your salvation.

We have not proclaimed your freedom to the captives.
We have not comforted those who mourn.
Create in us a clean heart, O God.
Restore to us the joy of your salvation.

Forgive us for closing our eyes to the needs of others.
Forgive us for limiting your abundance.
Create in us a clean heart, O God.
Restore to us the joy of your salvation.

Open our minds, Lord. Open our hearts, Lord.
Open our hands, Lord. Open our lips, Lord.
Give us a willing spirit to show your love to your world. Amen.
—based on Psalm 51; Isaiah 61; TWS Q.2.2.6

Sung Prayer

“Come Down, O Love Divine” LUYH 234, WR 330 
“Spirit Divine, Inspire Our Prayer” LUYH 617, PsH 421 
“Give Me a Clean Heart” LUYH 621, PFAS 326, SNC 64 
“Give Us Clean Hands” LUYH 628 
“Holy Spirit, Truth Divine” LUYH 864, PsH 423 
“Holy Spirit, Light Divine,” arr. Anne-Marie Strohman 
“Come, Holy Spirit, Come,” William Gadsby/Hiram Ring 
“Spirit of the Living God” LUYH 749, PH 322, PsH 424, TH 726, WR 492 
“Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart,” arr. Karl Digerness 

Assurance of Pardon

The Spirit renews our hearts
and moves us to faith,
leads us into truth,
and helps us to pray,
stands by us in our need,
and makes our obedience fresh and vibrant.
God the Spirit lavishes gifts on the church
in astonishing variety—
prophecy, encouragement, healing,
teaching, service, tongues, discernment—
equipping each member
to build up the body of Christ
and to serve our neighbors.
Our World Belongs to God, 29

What We Believe

We believe
that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit has conquered the powers of sin and death,
and therefore also of irreconciliation and hatred, bitterness and enmity,
that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit will enable the church to live in a new obedience
which can open new possibilities of life for society and the world.
The Belhar Confession

The Spirit is Present in New Life

Scripture Reading

Ezekiel 37:1–14

(Note that the Hebrew word for Spirit and Breath are the same: Ruach)

Sung Response

“Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God” LUYH 746  Full score is available at www.gettymusic.com/holy-spirit

“Breathe on Me, Breath of God” LUYH 747, PH 316, PsH 420, TH 334, WR 461 
“Breathe on Me,” arr. Cameron Grey 
“Hymn to the Holy Spirit,” Gina Tuck 
“Come Alive,” Lauren Daigle 
“Dry Bones,” Caroline Cobb  This is not a congregational song, but could be used with an interpretive dance.

Prayers of the People

Triune God,
When was the last time
that we heard the wind of your Spirit
roar through this place?
When was the last time
your fire lit up this room?

When was the last time
we took you at your word
and met together in expectation
of your Spirit filling this place,
and these lives with your Glory and Power?

Lord, you challenge us with Pentecost.
Do we believe that this
was a once in eternity experience,
never to be repeated?
That the Holy Spirit was poured out
on your followers for a single purpose,
and ended His work at that instant?

If so, then maybe that is why the Church
seems so powerless in this age,
helpless when faced with the needs
both spiritual and physical,
that we see in the world.

Lord, as we meet together,
and celebrate once again
the memory of that first Pentecost,
may it be for us as it was then
a moment of empowerment,
an awareness of your Glory in this dark world,
a life changing experience. Amen.
Prayer: ©John Birch, 2016 faithandworship.com Reprints permitted.

Alternate suggestion: RW 55, Pentecost Prayer by John Paarlberg

The Spirit is Present in All God’s People

Scripture Reading

Joel 2:28–31

Song of Hope

“Fear Not, Rejoice and Be Glad” LUYH 240, PsH 201,WR 392 
“Pour Out, I Will Pour Out My Spirit,” John Bell, available in the collection Come All You People (GIA) 

What We Believe

At Pentecost, promises old and new were fulfilled.
The ascended Jesus became the baptizer,
drenching his followers with his Spirit,
creating a new community
where Father, Son, and Holy Spirit make their home.
Revived and filled with the breath of God,
women and men,
young and old,
dream dreams
and see visions.

Our World Belongs to God, 28

Song of Pentecost

“Santo Espíritu, excelsa paloma/Holy Spirit, from Heaven Descended” (st. 1, 2) LUYH 241  
“Spirit of God, Unleashed on Earth” LUYH 237  
“Wind Who Makes All Winds That Blow” LUYH 239, SNC 169, WR 333  
“When Our Savior, Yesu, Went Away” LUYH 242 

The Spirit is Present in Unity

What We Believe

The Holy Spirit builds one church,
united in one Lord and one hope,
with one ministry around one table.
The Spirit calls all believers in Jesus
to respond in worship together,
to accept all the gifts from the Spirit,
to learn from each other’s traditions,
to make unity visible on earth.

Come, Lord Jesus:
We are open to your Spirit.
We await your full presence.
Our world finds rest in you alone
.
Our Song of Hope, 17

Song of Unity

“Santo Espíritu, excelsa paloma/Holy Spirit, from Heaven Descended” (st. 3, 4) LUYH 241 
“One People, Here, We Gather” LUYH 243 
“We Are Your People” LUYH 248, WR 594 
“Somos uno en Cristo/We Are One in Christ” LUYH 255, SWM 235, SNC 179 

The Spirit is Present in Us

What We Believe

The Holy Spirit sends the church
to call sinners to repentance,
to proclaim the good news
that Jesus is our Savior and Lord.
The Spirit sends the church out in ministry
to preach good news to the poor,
righteousness to the nations,
and peace among all people.
Our Song of Hope, 16

Closing Prayer

Almighty God,
send us out filled with your life-giving Holy Spirit,
that we may proclaim your gospel through our words and deeds.
May your Spirit lead, equip, and empower us to
bring you glory now and always. Amen.
TWS Q.9.1.7

Song of Commitment

“Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service” (st. 1, 2, 4) LUYH 928, PH 427, PsH 603, WR 575 
“Go to the World” LUYH 925, SNC 294, WR 553 

Blessing

May the Holy Spirit fall upon you, encompass you, and support you.
May the Holy Spirit transform you, lead you, and equip you.
May the Holy Spirit give you encouragement, strength, and comfort
to serve and worship our triune God both now and forever. Amen.
TWS Q.9.2.5

Doxological Praise

“No hay dios tan grande/There’s No God as Great” LUYH 275, SWM 244