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Christ Ascended into Heaven

A Prayer for Ascension Day

People often wonder what difference Christ’s ascension makes. The Heidelberg Catechism, written to answer this and so many other questions of the faith, teaches us about the ascension in Q&A 49. Though written in 1563, its summary of Scripture rings as true today as it did then, regardless of our particular denominational affiliation.

The following prayer uses the answer provided in the Heidelberg’s Q&A 49 as its outline and quotes from it throughout.

Jesus Christ, ascended Lord of all, over all.
We humbly come before you, who is sitting at the right hand of God the Father,
acknowledging our unworthiness to approach your throne,
but ever so grateful that you invite us to come to you.

We are mindful today that because you sit at God’s right hand
you can now serve as “our advocate in heaven in the presence of [God].”

So we ask today that you advocate on behalf of creation itself.
Lord of creation, we are constantly reminded of creation’s
brokenness as we hear news of hurricanes, earthquakes,
tsunamis, tornadoes, flooding, droughts, and fires.
Some places are too dry and experience drought and fire.
Other places are too wet, and experience floods, tsunamis,
and rising water levels that threaten land and livelihoods.
Today we especially remember . . .

[Insert particular prayers for communities suffering from natural disasters.]

We ask today that you advocate on behalf of the nations of this world.
Lord of the nations, we look forward to the day when all nations will bow before you.
Until then, we ask you to intercede and grant wisdom to those in power over the nations.
Hold at bay their lust for power and wealth.
Open their eyes to the needs of all displaced peoples, the millions starving,
the unequal distribution of wealth, the corruption of law enforcement,
the horror of human trafficking.
Open their eyes to see and their hearts to feel, and set in them a thirst for righteousness,
a desire to put what is best for the whole in front of the wants of a few..
Today we pray especially for . . .

[Insert particular prayers for nations in crisis.]

We ask today that you advocate on behalf of our own nation.
We pray for those in government, that you may grant them wisdom
and a willingness to work with those from different viewpoints for the good of all.

We are grateful for those who give of themselves in service to this country
and who set aside their own desires and agendas to that end.
We give you thanks for politicians who are not swayed by those funding their campaigns,
for military personnel who literally put their lives on the line not only to protect us but to serve as peacekeepers and assist in humanitarian efforts around the globe,
for emergency personnel in our own communities who keep us safe and respond to our needs,
for teachers who educate, for social workers and counselors who walk alongside those in need,
and for the many other professionals and volunteers who work so we may flourish.

We ask you to intercede on behalf of our Aboriginal communities.
We recognize the systems that have treated them as second-class citizens at best
and less than human at worst.
Help us to work together to fully dismantle these systems,
to provide equal protection, access to clean water, education, and health care
so Indigenous communities and the individuals within them
may thrive and experience shalom here on earth.

[Add praises and petitions for national and local concerns.]

Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 49

Q. How does Christ’s ascension to heaven benefit us?

A. First, he is our advocate
in heaven
in the presence of his Father.1

Second, we have our own flesh in heaven
as a sure pledge that Christ our head
will also take us, his members,
up to himself.2

Third, he sends his Spirit to us on earth
as a corresponding pledge.3
By the Spirit’s power
we seek not earthly things
but the things above, where Christ is,
sitting at God’s right hand.4

1 Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1
2 John 14:2; 17:24; Ephesians 2:4–6
3 John 14:16; 2 Corinthians 1:21–22; 5:5
4 Colossians 3:1–4


Jesus Christ, ascended Lord,
we are grateful that just as you were born, died, and rose again as a human, so you ascended.
Thus we are assured that “we have our own flesh in heaven
as a sure pledge that Christ our head
will also take us, his members, up to himself.”

May we find great comfort in the knowledge
that the struggles we experience here on earth and even death itself
do not have the final word, and that we have hope.

Jesus Christ, ascended Lord,
we thank you that you did not leave us here alone,
but sent your “Spirit to us on earth
as a corresponding pledge”
who serves as our advocate when we don’t have the words to pray
and perfects the imperfect prayers we do lift up.

Jesus Christ, ascended Lord,
we thank you that you did not leave us here alone,
but sent your “Spirit to us on earth
as a corresponding pledge”
who serves as our comforter, assuring us that we are not alone.

Today we are especially mindful for those who need
the comfort and hope your ascension brings.

[Add specific prayer requests for individuals in need: the sick, those living with mental illnesses, those who find life overwhelming (including students and young parents), the grieving, the lonely, the unemployed, and those going through transitions.]

Jesus Christ, ascended Lord,
when we leave this place of worship,
we ask that in the week to come,
at home, school, work, or wherever we find ourselves,
“by the Spirit’s power
we seek not earthly things
but the things above, where Christ is,
sitting at God’s right hand.”
We pray this all in the strong name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen.